In September 1897, Battle of Saragarhi took place, and it was the foremost time that a British Indian regiment created with 36 Sikhs for service on border saw deed. Lieutenant Colonel, John Haughton, led Sikhs to send off to Samana as the year commenced and taken picquets as well as forts throughout the era of heightened stress with Pathans tribes. In the same year, Winston Churchill fought next to Sikhs at Malakand. It was all through the Great game that Britain developed guidelines of disciplinary expeditions aligned with warring tribes to uphold control above the vital border region all along the Khyber.

In that same year, Orakzai, as well as Afridi tribes, were provoked to pay holy war by their Mullahs adjacent to British. This feeling came as British tactics to define the border which tribes observe a violation. Prompted to jihad, many men descend upon Samana with the purpose of driving British Indian forces away from the soil.

Large force tribesmen gathered at Karappa on 25th August 1897 near tri-junction of Chagru, Khanki and Sampagha valleys. At present, it is North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The number of fighters estimated up to 25000, but this was revised to 12000 as they started to do violence to British outposts garrisoned with tribal levies and ran away instead of fighting their kinsmen.

Following two days the enemy forces arrived at the western fort of Gulistan staffed by Major Des Voeux along with 150 Sikhs and started firing ahead of the fort. Numerous fights took amid British Indians as well as Pathans. Although latter was not competent to remove the 36 Sikhs from their posts. It was stated that this was owing to interactions post of Saragarhi. 

Forts Lockhart, as well as Gulistan, was not in the same line of each other, positioned as they were on Samana ridge. Messages could be transferred in only one way, and that was all the way through Saragarhi. Saragarhi was named after the village of Sara Garh that was once stood at the site. This communicated by heliograph which is a mode of sending Morse code by flashing light and allowed the commander to position his men around that region where it is most required to hold back the Pathan assaults. This game of cat and mouse aggravated the enemy who spends fortnight trying to search ways to defeat the more significant force instead of taking over minor posts along Samana. Apprehending   Saragarhi was the key and with reinforcements incoming the tribesmen tumble down ahead the post on 11th September.

About 20 Sikhs operated Saragarhi and led by Havildar Ishar Singh along with a camp follower. Their primary mission was to guarantee the convey of messages, but they were ill prepared for a cordon. Nearly about 10000 tribesmen assumed by Haughton who enclosed the post indicated by values they carried. This means that each Sikh positioned to take on approximately 476 Pathans. There was one more problem, that there were just 400 rounds of ammunition to a man and this means that Sikhs could not only rely on firepower to ruin the enemy. And Ishar Singh can only expect to stand rigid and is not wavering, deflate the enemy from attacking.

Next morning at 9 am the Pathans attacked by speeding up the outposts however disgusted with nearly 60 losses as Sikhs fired on the mass of men. Pathans railed to try by diving behind rocks, folds as well as dips in the ground and also make a second attack.  Although two tribesmen succeeded to get to post and remained close beneath the walls of the north-west bastion, the place where there was a dead position. They began digging and which was unobserved by Sikhs. Gurmukh Singh who was a signaler flashed to Haughton that in noon two Sikhs were dead and one more wounded. Commander warned Saragarhi not to squander their limited ammo, however, to keep the enemy at cove as corroboration were mustered. In spite of many efforts, Haughton was not able to daunt the tribesmen nearby 21 Sikhs.

Pathans set fire to bushes which are close by to hide their moves and made a second attack but again repulsed. They fired at the doorway to get in. However, their reply came about 3 pm.  The time when the wall at dead angle started to cave in. Enemy at that time gave the final cry and rushed via new gap along with wooden door which was riddled by bullets.

Tribes bragged over their own departed as well as wounded to get into Saragarhi, few remaining Sikhs which were inside put obstinate defense. However, they were forced to move away from inner defenses. Ishar Singh covered the recoil and occupied in hand to hand fight with his spear. One more sepoy protected the guard room door from within and continued firing, however, was also burned to death.

Gurmukh Singh sustained signaling lastly asking consent to unite the fight. He fired on until he too was besieged by the enemy. These 21 Sikhs had made a brave last stand. However, the enemy had to remunerate a high price for their triumph with up to 200 dead.

In what way it is remembered in Sikh culture?

British saw the courageous last stand at Saragarhi as an example of bravery as well as the dedication of Sikh Warriors to fight to the bitter end. It surrounds the call in the Sikh national anthem to die fighting while remembering deity. British generously rewarded Sikhs for their heroics. Out of 36 Sikhs, 33 soldiers received the Indian Order of merit for fighting on Samana. This was the then highest honor that could be given for heroism. Those 21 Sikhs of Saragarhi also presented the distinction posthumously as well as their families were given land along with a pension.

Nevertheless, the significant steps of British were to make certain that India would by no means overlook by the last stand and that it would always be memorized. At Ferozepur, a memorial Gurudwara was constructed and in Amritsar too nearby Sri Harmandir Sahib, i.e. The Golden Temple. One more memorial was constructed at Fort Lockhart.

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    In September 1897, Battle of Saragarhi took place, and it was the foremost time that a British Indian regiment created with 36 Sikhs for service on border saw deed. Lieutenant Colonel, John Haughton, led Sikhs to send off to Samana as the year commenced and taken picquets as well...

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