Sikh soldiers, c. 1890
Events

Battle of Saragarhi

The Battle of Saragarhi was fought before the Tirah Campaign on September 12, 1897 between the British Indian Empire and the Afghan tribesmen. It occurred in the North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). Sikh soldiers fought on behalf of the British Indian Army against Pashtun Orakzai tribesmen.

The British Indian contingent comprised 21 Jat 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 10,000 to 12,000 Afghans. The Sikhs, led by Havildar Ishar Singh, chose to fight to the death, in what 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.

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