“in order to show their contempt for death, some Sikhs had refused to hide themselves in the trenches” – The Guardian report, November 12, 1914

“The Sikh community provided some very fine, capable soldiers that were brought to the battlefields of Europe as part of the British contribution to the First World War. The numbers of their causalities paints a picture: 83,000 Sikhs gave their lives in the First and Second World War combined and over a hundred thousand were very seriously wounded.” – Colonel Robin Vickers, Stoney Stanton Road , Coventry: Sikhs in the Trenches, 28 may 2014, BBC

“The Sikhs may with justice be considered the most important class among our Indian soldiers. Not only are they the best known to Englishmen of all the fighting men of India, with the possible exception of the Gurkhas, but they bulk more largely than any
other class in the Indian Army.” – Lt.-Col. J. W. B. and Sir Frederick Smith, The French Corps in France (1918)

“We shall cherish above all the memory of their example. They showed us the way, they made the first steps towards the final victory” – Marshal Ferdinand Foch

“The Indian Troops were thus among the first to show the way to a victorious offensive.  It is only right that a Memorial should perpetuate the glorious memory of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the Indian Army at the very spot where later on a general attack by the Allied troops was to bring the decisive victory in sight.” – Marshal Ferdinand Foch

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“The scene is one that should be retained on the Empires retina. The hosts of Indian soldiers marched through the streets of Marseille with the population,especially the female proportion, hanging on to the arms of the bewildered Sikhs and Pathans.” – Lt Gen Sir George MacMunn, The Martial Races of India (1923)

“It was the dark days of 1914 when our men had to face mortars, hand grenades, high explosive shells for which they themselves were not provided. They could reply only with their valour, their rifles and two machine guns per battalion. And yet they did it.” – Lt. General Sir James Wilcox, Commander of the Indian Corps

“The Indians didn’t give them much time to arrive at an understanding. With a shrill yell they rode right through the German infantry, thrusting right and left with their terrible lances, arid bringing a man down every time. The Germans broke and ran for their lives, pursued by the Lancers for about a mile. Our swarthy soldiers from the East have been delighted to win the cheers of the British and French troops.” – T.P’s Journal of Great Deeds Of the Great War, November 21, 1914

Articles on Sikh Soldiers

BBC: World War One At Home
Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry: Sikhs in the Trenches

The Guardian
The last post: Letter home to India during the first world war

The Guardian
To show their contempt for death, some Sikhs had refused to hide in the trenches