Sikhs across the UK took part in nationwide commemoration ceremonies, honouring those who fought in the Battle of Somme during World War 1 in 1916.
Events in Birmingham, Plymouth and London were attended by Sikhs, representing the thousands of Sikh troops who fought in the battle alongside Allied troops from India, France and Britain take on German soldiers on the upper reaches of the river Somme. Wreaths were laid and Sikh prayers recited at some of the events.
Chaz Singh, Sikh activist and former Labour candidate for Plymouth who laid a wreath as part of the town’s official Battle of Somme remembrance ceremony, said, “It is very important that the Commonwealth contribution is remembered. The Sikhs contributed significantly and as a Sikh it is a great honour to be able to represent them here in Plymouth.”
Other events where Sikh soldiers were represented include in London, where the British Armed Forces Sikh Association (BAFSA) were in Westminster Abbey for a remembrance event, whilst Mandeep Kaur read out Sikh prayers at a Birmingham commemoration event.
Today’s anniversary has also been used as the launch date for a new website – www.EmpireFaithWar.com – which is to be a hub for information and previously unknown tales of Sikh soldiers.