Sikhs In The Army

1/11 Sikh Regiment

History of the 1st Battalion King George V’s Own, Ferozepore Sikhs 11th Sikh Regiment.

1846. Raising of the Regiment.

The Regiment of Ferozepore was raised at the close of the First Sikh war in 1846.  The Regiment was raised from ex-soldiers of the Khalsa Army.  Mainly recruited from the cis-Sutjej area of the Punjab, Which is known as the Malawi country. Recruits are gradually collected at Ferozepore where Captain G. Tebbs became the first commandant on August 1st 1846.

1857 The Indian Mutiny,

The start of the great Mutiny of the Bengal Army in 1857

Found the Regiment of Ferozepore at Mirzapore where it received orders. To proceed by forced marches to Allahabad, a strong point. Disturbances started in Allahabad on June 5th when the Native Infy: already there mutinied. Lieutenant  Brayser  the  commander  quickly paraded  his  men  and  disarmed  all  the  guards  of  the  mutinous  regiment  controlling  the  situation  and  saving  the  Allahabad  Fort.

The folowing is an extract from Outrams life;-

'It was  Lieutenant  Brasyer  and  his  Sikhs,  the Regiment  of Ferozepore  who  alone  saved  the  lives  of  all  the Europeans  including 250women  and  children  at Allahabad.  Had the  Fort fallen into the hands of  the  rebels  at  this  moment  the  result  would  have  been calamitous’.

General  Neil said  of  the Regiment:-"I  must  be  obliged  to Brasyer  and  his  Sikhs  who deserve  the greatest  credit  for defending  the  Fort at Allahabad'.

After  Allahabad  the  Regiment  of Ferozepore  joined  the  Ferozepore  the  Relief  of Lucknow  under General  Havelock'.  The  Sikhs  took the part  large  port  in  this  campaign  and it  is  commemorated  by  the unique  dual Battle-Honour  "Lucknow, Defence  and Capture'. For  their services  General  Havelock,  promoted  all Indian Ranks  in the Ferozepore  Regiment  "a step  in  rank"  and  to  the  Subadar,  in lieu  of promotion  the  1st Class  I O.M.  As  a special distinction  for  its  conduct during  the  mutiny  the  Ferozepore  Regiment  was granted  the  privilege of securing  a "red pagri"  as  its headress  which  is still  in use  today.

NO finer corps is there in the Indian Army than the Loodiana Sikhs

as "Gordon's Sikhs" in 1846. They have seen service in China, 1860-62 ; in the Mutiny ; in Afghanistan, 1878-80, including the battle of Ahmed Khel, the famous march,

and the battle of Candahar ; in the Soudan, 1885, including the battle of Tofrek ; in the Chitral Campaign of 1895 ; and throughout the whole of the Tirah Campaign of 1897. The

regiment is, as its name denotes, a class one, and is recruited entirely front Cis-Sutlej Jat Sikhs, a purely agricultural class of peasant proprietors, whose tradi¬tions allow them to

follow naught but the plough or the drum. Splendid in physique and stout in heart, they make ideal  soldiers. Look at the upper group, and say if you would wish

to lead into action a finer body of men. Every man in the group is medalled, and eight have both the late and present I.G.S. medal, and no less than eight of the ten have

four clasps to the latter. Sepoy Atar Singh is the veteran of the group, having seventeen years' service. worn by the Sikh regiments. The quoit as a weapon is a bit out

of date-; but it is still worn by the Sikhs as a badge of their race, and quoit throwing is a popular sport. The silver quoit worn by Bhan Singh in the front of his turban is one of eight

presented by the Prince of Wales for annual competition in each company. Note carefully the second group, and you will see that Naik Ram Singh, Havildar Karani Singh, and

Subadar Gurdit Siugh wear the Order of Merit, the Indian soldier's V.C. Naik Ram Singh has been wounded three times, and the subadar once. Havildar Karam Singh won his Order of

Merit in Central Africa, and both he and Lance-Havildar Kissen Singh wear the Central African medal. Havildar Prem Singh has hair any fair lady might envy, for it is 5ft long.

He takes after Samson in more than the length of his hair, for he is an exceptionally powerful man.

Loodiana Sikhs 1900 -4a