Duty Honour Country, Sikh Soldiers in WWI & WWII

Daily Hukamnama

"rwgu sUhI mhlw 3 Gru 10","\u003C\u003E siqgur pRswid ]","dunIAw n swlwih jo mir vM\\sI ]","lokw n swlwih jo mir Kwku QIeI ]1]","vwhu myry swihbw vwhu ]","gurmuiK sdw slwhIAY scw vyprvwhu ]1] rhwau ]","dunIAw kyrI dosqI mnmuK diJ mrMin ]","jm puir bDy mwrIAih vylw n lwhMin ]2]","gurmuiK jnmu skwrQw scY sbid lgMin ]","Awqm rwmu pRgwisAw shjy suiK rhMin ]3]","gur kw sbdu ivswirAw dUjY Bwie rcMin ]","iqsnw BuK n auqrY Anidnu jlq iPrMin ]4]","dustw nwil dosqI nwil sMqw vYru krMin ]","Awip fuby kutMb isau sgly kul fobMin ]5]","inMdw BlI iksY kI nwhI mnmuK mugD krMin ]","muh kwly iqn inMdkw nrky Goir pvMin ]6]","ey mn jYsw syvih qYsw hovih qyhy krm kmwie ]","Awip bIij Awpy hI Kwvxw khxw ikCU n jwie ]7]","mhw purKw kw bolxw hovY ikqY prQwie ]","Eie AMimRq Bry BrpUr hih Enw iqlu n qmwie ]8]","guxkwrI gux sMGrY Avrw aupdysyin ]","sy vfBwgI ij Enw imil rhy Anidnu nwmu leyin ]9]","dysI irjku sMbwih ijin aupweI mydnI ]","eyko hY dwqwru scw Awip DxI ]10]","so scu qyrY nwil hY gurmuiK ndir inhwil ]","Awpy bKsy myil ley so pRBu sdw smwil ]11]","mnu mYlw scu inrmlw ikau kir imilAw jwie ]","pRBu myly qw imil rhY haumY sbid jlwie ]12]","so shu scw vIsrY iDRgu jIvxu sMswir ]","ndir kry nw vIsrY gurmqI vIcwir ]13]","siqguru myly qw imil rhw swcu rKw aur Dwir ]","imilAw hoie n vICuVY gur kY hyiq ipAwir ]14]","ipru swlwhI Awpxw gur kY sbid vIcwir ]","imil pRIqm suKu pwieAw soBwvMqI nwir ]15]","mnmuK mnu n iBjeI Aiq mYly iciq kTor ]","spY duDu pIAweIAY AMdir ivsu inkor ]16]","Awip kry iksu AwKIAY Awpy bKsxhwru ]","gur sbdI mYlu auqrY qw scu bixAw sIgwru ]17]","scw swhu scy vxjwry EQY kUVy n itkMin ]","Enw scu n BwveI duK hI mwih pcMin ]18]","haumY mYlw jgu iPrY mir jMmY vwro vwr ]","pieAY ikriq kmwvxw koie n mytxhwr ]19]","sMqw sMgiq imil rhY qw sic lgY ipAwru ]","scu slwhI scu min dir scY sicAwru ]20]","gur pUry pUrI miq hY Aihinis nwmu iDAwie ]","haumY myrw vf rogu hY ivchu Twik rhwie ]21]","guru swlwhI Awpxw iniv iniv lwgw pwie ]","qnu mnu saupI AwgY DrI ivchu Awpu gvwie ]22]","iKMcoqwix ivgucIAY eyksu isau ilv lwie ]","haumY myrw Cif qU qw sic rhY smwie ]23]","siqgur no imly is Bwierw scY sbid lgMin ]","sic imly sy n ivCuVih dir scY idsMin ]24]","sy BweI sy sjxw jo scw syvMin ]","Avgx ivkix pl@rin gux kI swJ krMin@ ]25]","gux kI swJ suKu aUpjY scI Bgiq kryin ]","scu vxMjih gur sbd isau lwhw nwmu leyin ]26]","suienw rupw pwp kir kir sMcIAY clY n clidAw nwil ]","ivxu nwvY nwil n clsI sB muTI jmkwil ]27]","mn kw qosw hir nwmu hY ihrdY rKhu sm@wil ]","eyhu Krcu AKutu hY gurmuiK inbhY nwil ]28]","ey mn mUlhu BuilAw jwsih piq gvwie ]","iehu jgqu moih dUjY ivAwipAw gurmqI scu iDAwie ]29]","hir kI kImiq n pvY hir jsu ilKxu n jwie ]","gur kY sbid mnu qnu rpY hir isau rhY smwie ]30]","so shu myrw rMgulw rMgy shij suBwie ]","kwmix rMgu qw cVY jw ipr kY AMik smwie ]31]","icrI ivCuMny BI imlin jo siqguru syvMin ]","AMqir nv iniD nwmu hY Kwin Krcin n inKuteI hir gux shij rvMin ]32]","nw Eie jnmih nw mrih nw Eie duK shMin ]","guir rwKy sy aubry hir isau kyl krMin ]33]","sjx imly n ivCuVih ij Anidnu imly rhMin ]","iesu jg mih ivrly jwxIAih nwnk scu lhMin ]34]1]3

"Raag Soohee, Third Mehl, Tenth House:","One Universal Creator God. By The Grace Of The True Guru:","Do not praise the world; it shall simply pass away.","Do not praise other people; they shall die and turn to dust.\||1||","Waaho! Waaho! Hail, hail to my Lord and Master.","As Gurmukh, forever praise the One who is forever True, Independent and Carefree.\||1||Pause||","Making worldly friendships, the self-willed manmukhs burn and die.","In the City of Death, they are bound and gagged and beaten; this opportunity shall never come again.\||2||","The lives of the Gurmukhs are fruitful and blessed; they are committed to the True Word of the Shabad.","Their souls are illuminated by the Lord, and they dwell in peace and pleasure.\||3||","Those who forget the Word of the Guru\u0027s Shabad are engrossed in the love of duality.","Their hunger and thirst never leave them, and night and day, they wander around burning.\||4||","Those who make friendships with the wicked, and harbor animosity to the Saints,","shall drown with their families, and their entire lineage shall be obliterated.\||5||","It is not good to slander anyone, but the foolish, self-willed manmukhs still do it.","The faces of the slanderers turn black, and they fall into the most horrible hell.\||6||","O mind, as you serve, so do you become, and so are the deeds that you do.","Whatever you yourself plant, that is what you shall have to eat; nothing else can be said about this.\||7||","The speech of the great spiritual beings has a higher purpose.","They are filled to over-flowing with Ambrosial Nectar, and they have absolutely no greed at all.\||8||","The virtuous accumulate virtue, and teach others.","Those who meet with them are so very fortunate; night and day, they chant the Naam, the Name of the Lord.\||9||","He who created the Universe, gives sustenance to it.","The One Lord alone is the Great Giver. He Himself is the True Master.\||10||","That True Lord is always with you; the Gurmukh is blessed with His Glance of Grace.","He Himself shall forgive you, and merge you into Himself; forever cherish and contemplate God.\||11||","The mind is impure; only the True Lord is pure. So how can it merge into Him?","God merges it into Himself, and then it remains merged; through the Word of His Shabad, the ego is burnt away.\||12||","Cursed is the life in this world, of one who forgets her True Husband Lord.","The Lord grants His Mercy, and she does not forget Him, if she contemplates the Guru\u0027s Teachings.\||13||","The True Guru unites her, and so she remains united with Him, with the True Lord enshrined within her heart.","And so united, she will not be separated again; she remains in the love and affection of the Guru.\||14||","I praise my Husband Lord, contemplating the Word of the Guru\u0027s Shabad.","Meeting with my Beloved, I have found peace; I am His most beautiful and happy soul-bride.\||15||","The mind of the self-willed manmukh is not softened; his consciousness is totally polluted and stone-hearted.","Even if the venomous snake is fed on milk, it shall still be filled with poison.\||16||","He Himself does - who else should I ask? He Himself is the Forgiving Lord.","Through the Guru\u0027s Teachings, filth is washed away, and then, one is embellished with the ornament of Truth.\||17||","True is the Banker, and True are His traders. The false ones cannot remain there.","They do not love the Truth - they are consumed by their pain.\||18||","The world wanders around in the filth of egotism; it dies, and is re-born, over and again.","He acts in accordance with the karma of his past actions, which no one can erase.\||19||","But if he joins the Society of the Saints, then he comes to embrace love for the Truth.","Praising the True Lord with a truthful mind, he becomes true in the Court of the True Lord.\||20||","The Teachings of the Perfect Guru are perfect; meditate on the Naam, the Name of the Lord, day and night.","Egotism and self-conceit are terrible diseases; tranquility and stillness come from within.\||21||","I praise my Guru; bowing down to Him again and again, I fall at His Feet.","I place my body and mind in offering unto Him, eradicating self-conceit from within.\||22||","Indecision leads to ruin; focus your attention on the One Lord.","Renounce egotism and self-conceit, and remain merged in Truth.\||23||","Those who meet with the True Guru are my Siblings of Destiny; they are committed to the True Word of the Shabad.","Those who merge with the True Lord shall not be separated again; they are judged to be True in the Court of the Lord.\||24||","They are my Siblings of Destiny, and they are my friends, who serve the True Lord.","They sell off their sins and demerits like straw, and enter into the partnership of virtue.\||25||","In the partnership of virtue, peace wells up, and they perform true devotional worship service.","They deal in Truth, through the Word of the Guru\u0027s Shabad, and they earn the profit of the Naam.\||26||","Gold and silver may be earned by committing sins, but they will not go with you when you die.","Nothing will go with you in the end, except the Name; all are plundered by the Messenger of Death.\||27||","The Lord\u0027s Name is the nourishment of the mind; cherish it, and preserve it carefully within your heart.","This nourishment is inexhaustible; it is always with the Gurmukhs.\||28||","O mind, if you forget the Primal Lord, you shall depart, having lost your honor.","This world is engrossed in the love of duality; follow the Guru\u0027s Teachings, and meditate on the True Lord.\||29||","The Lord\u0027s value cannot be estimated; the Lord\u0027s Praises cannot be written down.","When one\u0027s mind and body are attuned to the Word of the Guru\u0027s Shabad, one remains merged in the Lord.\||30||","My Husband Lord is playful; He has imbued me with His Love, with natural ease.","The soul-bride is imbued with His Love, when her Husband Lord merges her into His Being.\||31||","Even those who have been separated for so very long, are reunited with Him, when they serve the True Guru.","The nine treasures of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, are deep within the nucleus of the self; consuming them, they are still never exhausted. Chant the Glorious Praises of the Lord, with natural ease.\||32||","They are not born, and they do not die; they do not suffer in pain.","Those who are protected by the Guru are saved. They celebrate with the Lord.\||33||","Those who are united with the Lord, the True Friend, are not separated again; night and day, they remain blended with Him.","In this world, only a rare few are known, O Nanak, to have obtained the True Lord.\||34||1||3||

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A Saga of Chivalry - Battle of Haifa (FEATURED ARTICLE)

The Day David Triumphed Over Goliath

By Harchand Singh Bedi & Harprabhjeet Singh Bedi Malaysia.

General Sir Edmund Allenby on his horse saluting the Sikh Battalion outside of Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate on December 11, 1917. Photo credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

Mr. G. V. Furphy J.P. has received the following interesting letter from Major Jack Kendall of Shepparton, Australia dated, October 2nd, 1918 Amman, the Mountain of Moab.
 "Just a little over a week ago there was an army of 80,000 to 90,000 Turks and Germans, all good, big strong men, standing up against our force. Today between 60,000 and 70,000 of them are prisoners, and the remainder gone to dust (for a body only lasts a few days in this climate). So you can see what may happen in a very little time. I understand it was one of the greatest feats of the war, practically to wipe out a complete army in four days, and at the same time advance from Jerusalem to Damascus, over 100 miles".

KHUDA BUKSH, GHULAM MUHAMMAD, MANBIR RAI, BIRMANI GURUNG, SULTAN SINGH, GULAB SINGH, KARTAR SINGH and many others, were all children of British India. They travelled far from home to fight the Ottoman Turks in Palestine. They must have expected, or at least hoped, to make it back to their families. They were instead felled by bullets, shrapnel or disease and remained in 7 cemeteries in Israel, from Jerusalem to Ramleh to Haifa.

According to Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a large number of Indian soldiers, nearly 900 (816 WW1, 66 WW2) are cremated or buried in cemeteries across Israel demonstrating the major sacrifice that was made, and act as an immortal testimonial for their heroism.

On 23rd September 1918, the 15th Imperial Service Brigade comprising of the Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers undertook one of the most famous cavalry actions in the Great War and recaptured the city of Haifa in Palestine. This day is commemorated by the Indian Army each year as 'Haifa day' to honour this famous charge. 
General Allenby's vast encircling operation in Palestine, which commenced in September, 1918, was undoubtedly one of the most effective of the whole war, and helped considerably towards the final collapse of the Central Powers. It resulted in the smashing up of the Turkish resistance, and as far as the Palestine campaign was concerned was a complete victory in every sense of the term.

General Sir Edmund Allenby wrote that, one feature of this battle has been the magnificent dash of the Indian troops. The veteran soldiers of India were expected to do well, and have lived up to their high reputation.

'Their only fault was a too great of eagerness, to push on '

"Whilst the Mysore Lancers were clearing the rocky slopes of Mount Carmel, the Jodhpur Lancers charged through the defile, and riding over the enemy's machine guns, galloped into the town, where a number of Turks were speared in the streets. Maj. Thakur Dalpat Singh, M.C., fell gallantly leading the charge."

"No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign. Machine gun bullets over and over again failed to stop the galloping horses even though many of them succumbed afterwards to their injuries…"      This remains the only known incident in military history when a fortified town was captured by cavalry on the gallop.

In the big battle which has ended so gloriously, the soldierly qualities of courage, endurance, and discipline are most essential, it is the very link of the fighting chain. The divisional commanders tell me that they were delighted with the Indians valour under all conditions. Forty seven hours continuous fighting and marching tested them to the utmost. 

They behaved superbly. Their only fault was a too great eagerness, to push on'. 

Lieutenant General Sir Henry (Harry) Chauvel (Australian Imperial Force) wrote in his Despatches; 
"The Lancers dashed over the narrow defile in extended order and galloped over this plain of Armageddon, and crashed into the infantry and machine gunners with the lance, killing ninety and wounding as many more. They took 410 prisoners. The charge was most brilliantly executed. The cavalry had to gallop over exposed ground against heavy rifle and machine gun fire, but it never faltered. Each wave of horsemen rode through the enemy, and those who were not killed threw up their hands". 1,350 enemy prisoners were taken, including 2 German and 35 Ottoman officers. The Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers combined lost 1 officer, 7 soldiers and 60 horses. 6 officers and 28 soldiers were wounded, as were 83 horses.

The Indian Troops played a prominent part in achieving this success and General Chauvel's short history of the operations holds a special interest for all who take a pride in these men who suffered the discomforts and hardship of a desert campaign, and performed almost impossible deeds of valour. 

They fought like seasoned warriors. They cheerfully answered any call.  

These Indians took the place of some of the Londoners who were sent to France. They were tremendously keen to preserve the record of the division of Indians with the Londoners, who were first into Jerusalem and first over the Jordan. They wanted to be first through the coastal defences. They succeeded. They went on and secured the crossing of the Wadi Falik for the cavalry. They then advanced north-east wards to Tulkarm, covering the astonishing distance of 22 miles in thirteen and the half hours, including trench fighting and actions in the open. This wonderful performance is an example of what the young Indian battalions are capable of. All are practically of the same quality. These young Indian battalions came through the ordeal magnificently. They fought like seasoned warriors. They cheerfully answered any call.  

"For skill in hill fighting it would be hard to find a parallel for this incident". 

There was a stern struggle for the Bietlid hill, 5 000 yards from Nablus, on Friday. When it was captured it was decided to take a station which was commanded on the south by a high steep hill. A Sikh battalion crept up the irregular slopes in the moonlight, caught the garrison entirely unprepared, rushed and surprised the German machine gunners, and captured over 200 prisoners, besides killing and wounding others. There was not one single casualty among the Sikhs. 

'Indian cavalry of the Jodhpore and Mysore Lancers, 16th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade passing through Haifa following the city's capture from Turkey (Ottoman Empire), 23rd September 1918'. Q 12335. Courtesy of Imperial War Museum London

Deeds of Heroism
The exceptional bravery and supreme sacrifice of Major Thakur Dalpat Singh and his men, will be remembered forever and continue to inspire generations to come. Major Dalpat Singh was conferred upon Military Cross and the entire saga of bravery is described in history textbooks of Israel. He was anointed as the "Hero of Haifa" 
Captain Aman Singh Bahadur and Dafadar Jor Singh were awarded the Indian Order of Merit and Captain Anop Singh and 2nd Lt. Sagat Singh were awarded the Military Cross in recognition of their bravery in this battle. 
Wonderful stories of their gallantry, dash, and initiative in the war are told in a special supplement of the 'London Gazette,' recording the conferment of a large number of decorations for bravery in this battle.

Thakur Dalpat Singh, Jodhpur Lancers.

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This officer, accompanied only by his trumpeter, charged an entrenched machine gun, killing and scattering the crew and capturing the gun. At the same time he captured the commandant of a regiment and another officer'.

Captain Thakur Anop Singh, Bahadur, I.O.M. Jodhpur Imp. Serv. Lancers. 

'On the 23rd September, 1918, during the attack on Haifa, he led his squadron with the greatest dash and ability, when he successfully charged the enemy's position, capturing three guns, four machine guns, and many of the enemy. He then led his squadron through the north portion of the town, capturing many more prisoners, and rejoined the regiment at the final objective. He showed throughout the utmost contempt for danger'.

2nd Lieut. Kunwar Sagat Singh, Jodhpur I.S. Lancers. 

'For gallantry and devotion to duty.  On the 23rd September, 1918, during the advance on Haifa, he twice went back under heavy fire to give orders to squadrons in the rear, afterwards rejoining the head of the regiment. Throughout the action he gave an example of complete disregard of danger and showed great coolness'.


Resources :-
The Official History of the War (Military Operations Egypt and Palestine: Volume II

State Library of NSW. Soldiers Dairies

Imperial War Museum London 

Library of Congress
Edinburgh Gazette 

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