British army team visits Golden Temple, Saragarhi Memorial Gurdwara in Amritsar
The delegation, led by Brigadier Celia Jane Harvey and comprising Colonel John Kendall, Captain Craig Bickerton, Captain Jagjeet Singh Sohal and warrant officer Ashok Chauhan, is on a week-long trip to India.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 23:43 IST
AMRITSAR: A delegation of the British army on Wednesday visited Amritsar and recalled the Battle of Saragarhi that was fought in 1897 between the British Indian Empire and Afghan tribesmen in the North-West Frontier Province, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan.
The delegation, led by Brigadier Celia Jane Harvey and comprising Colonel John Kendall, Captain Craig Bickerton, Captain Jagjeet Singh Sohal and warrant officer Ashok Chauhan, is on a week-long trip to India.
The delegation members visited Golden Temple and paid respects at the shrine’s sanctum sanctorum. They also met Akal Takht jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh before visiting the Saragarhi Memorial Gurdwara on the heritage trail of Amritsar. The jathedar also honored the delegation members.
The delegation also visited Saragarhi Sarai, a luxurious inn for pilgrims, experiencing the view of a special gallery dedicated to the Sikh martyrs who lost their lives in the Battle of Saragarhi.
“We are travelling India to share the joint history learning from each other. Today, we visited Golden Temple to learn about the customs, culture and history of Sikhs. As we have Sikh champions in British defence, it is very important to understand the customs (of Sikhs) so much better, so that I can ensure that Sikhs in the British Army, Navy and the Air Force are looked after while serving alongside British soldiers,” Harvey told mediapersons outside the Saragarhi Sarai.
Recalling the Battle of Saragarhi, Col Kendall said they remember the tremendous battle in which 21 Khalsa warriors fought against impossible odds. “They fought with their loyalty and courage,” he added.
The delegation was accompanied by members of the Saragarhi Foundation Inc, comprising chairman Gurinderpal Singh Josan, president Brig Kuldip Singh Kahlon, Ranjit Singh Khalsa, Taranvir Singh Benipal and Kamaljit Kaur Pannu.
Hailing the role of Sikh soldiers during the World War-I and II, the brigadier said their role was exemplary and the European countries owe their freedom to the brave soldiers of Punjab.
She said the Sikh community is respected worldwide for its bravery and immense sacrifice. ``Sikhs have sacrificed their lives for protecting the oppressed, the helpless and other religions,” she said recalling their valour in Saragarhi battle.
``Just 21 brave Sikh soldiers faced 10,000 Afghans tribal men and fought till last breadth,” said Colonel Johan Kendall, who was also part of the delegation, during the seminar.