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SOME UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE BATTLE OF SARAGARHI

By Mukul Arora . 12th September 2018 10:30pm
SOME UNKNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE BATTLE OF SARAGARHI

It has been around 100 years since the deadly battle of Saragarhi took place. The battle was fought between the Afghans and Sikh army of The British Indian contingent which comprised of 21 Sikh soldiers of the 36th Sikhs (now the 4th battalion of the Sikh Regiment), who were stationed at an army post and were attacked by around 10,000 Afghans. Battle of Saragarhi is considered by some military historians as one of history's greatest last-stands. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent. Saragarhi was a small village in the border district of Kohat, situated on the Samana Range, in present-day Pakistan. On 20 April 1894, the 36th Sikhs of the British Indian Army was created, under the command of Colonel J. Cook. On August 1897, five teams of the 36th Sikhs under Lt. Col. John Haughton were sent to the northwest frontier of British India (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and were stationed at Samana Hills, Kurag, Sangar, Sahtop Dhar and Saragarhi. Sikh military personnel commemorates the battle every year on 12 September, as Saragarhi Day. The first recorded public discourse on Saragarhi was delivered by Viscount Lord Slim in 2001 when he delivered the annual Portraits of Courage lecture at the Imperial War Museum. This was hosted by the Maharaja Duleep Singh Centenary Trust. In May 2002 the Prince of Wales inaugurated the Jawans to Generals exhibition which featured a section on Saragarhi. The exhibition successfully toured the UK and was seen by over 100,000 visitors. Saragarhi was introduced back into the UK by writer and filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal and the British Army with the launch of the book Saragarhi: The Forgotten Battle in 2013 at Old College Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It has since been commemorated each year on its battle honor day by the British Armed Forces. In 2014 the commemoration also took place at Sandhurst at the Indian Army Memorial Room. In 2015 it took place at the Honourable Artillery Company in London, where it took place in 2016. The battle has frequently been compared to the Battle of Thermopylae, where a small Greek force faced a large Persian army under Xerxes I in 480 BC. In both the cases, a small defending force faced overwhelming odds, fighting to the last man and inflicting an extremely disproportionate number of fatalities on the attacking force. Many filmmakers have already announced movies on this historic battle, there are already three films in the row. Indian Army too is pushing the Indian govt. to add this in the school education system.