With the onset of World War I, the British Empire called on it's dominion to save Europe from the growing threat of the German and Ottoman Empires. What emerged from India was the largest volunteer army ever assembled. 1.2 million Indians enlisted for service, 20% of these being the Sikhs despite making up less than 2% of the population.
Tens of thousands of Sikh soldiers were sent to the front lines, seeing action in the most fierce battles across Europe, the Middle-East, and East Africa.
At the same time the seams of Empire were beginning to come loose, as events in occupied India continued to deteriorate. Despite the situation back home, the Sikhs continued to fight, and lay down their lives, defending the freedom of a people unknown to them, for an ally that restricted their own freedom. We honour their sacrifice.
"The proudest boasts of the regiment are that no other regiments of the Indian Army did more actual front-line work and hard fighting, and that on returning to India after the conclusion of the War it was the only unit of the Indian army given the honour of a royal Colonel in Chief in recognition of its services during the War."
- 47th Sikhs War Records, The Great War 1914-1918
1914 Sikhs is an Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail (ASHT) initiative highlighting the sacrifices made by Sikh soldiers in the First World War.
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