The Military Museums opens exhibit recognizing Sikh military contributions

“I feel these are the hidden heroes,” said Capt. Dullat....

In recognition of Sikh heritage month, The Military Museums in southwest Calgary is hosting a temporary exhibit highlighting Sikh military history in Canada and around the globe.

Researchers at the museum worked alongside members of the local Sikh community and identified 10 Sikh soldiers who served Canada in the First World War.

“Those soldiers served overseas,” explained Captain Charan Kamal Singh Dullat of the Canadian Armed Forces.  “They served in France, Belgium, all those major battles they were a part of. There were three of those ten soldiers who were sacrificed on those lands. Seven of them returned.”...

...“We talk about the battle of Saraghari which was very important, there were a number of Victoria Cross winners there. Those individuals didn’t immigrate to Canada but it’s still important to the Sikh community here to learn about those stories and their heritage further back.”

The 1897 Battle of Saraghari saw 21 Sikh soldiers with the Indian-British Army face an attack at the hands of an army of roughly 10,000 local tribesmen on what is now the border of Pakistan.

In recent years, the Military Museums has connected with members of the local Korean and Vietnamese communities for exhibits on the wars in their homelands and Cory says the initiative has proven successful.

“It’s a good chance for everyone else to learn about other communities in Calgary as well, other aspects of military history, other aspects of the historical community in general here ,” said Cory. “The more we learn about each other the richer we are as a community.”

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