To commemorate the martyrs of the Battle of Saragarhi, a religious congregation will be held at the memorial gurdwara here on Monday. A reunion of ex-servicemen will be held in the evening.
The gurudwara was built in memory of 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36 Sikh Regiment (now the 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment) who laid down their lives defending the Saragarhi Fort in Wazirstan (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in Pakistan) on September 12,1897, against 10,000 Pathans.
The Battle at Saragarhi is one of eight stories of collective bravery published by UNESCO. About 10,000 Pathans surrounded the Saragarhi fort, which was being guarded by only 21 Sikh soldiers.
The battle continued for seven hours and Sikh soldiers kept felling one after another. No supplies came but the soldiers were told to stick to their guns. In the meantime, the Pathans asked the Sikh soldiers to surrender but they preferred to die fighting.
All the 21 Sikh non-commissioned officers and soldiers were posthumously awarded the “Indian Order of Merit”, the highest gallantry award of that time. This award is equivalent to today’s Param Vir Chakra.