'unique stalwarts from the east,' fought in the battles of Ypres,
Flanders, the Somme, Gallipoli, East Africa, Palestine, Egypt
/ Suez Canal, Mesopotamia, and numerous other battlefields in
nearly all theatres of the war.
This article cannot justly commemorate the contribution of these
fine warriors who fought disease, filth, gas attacks, and the
onslaught of German and Turkish troops and maxim guns with only
their turbans to protect them from head wounds and their unshorn
hair and long beards, as prescribed by their religious faith,
in disease infested, muddy trenches.
The average Indian battalion had around 764 men when they landed in France, but by November 1914, the 47th Sikhs had only 385 men left. In Gallipoli, the 14th Sikhs lost 371 officers and men in mere minutes, and thousands of other Sikhs died in various other encounters such as Neuve Chappelle and the Somme.
The "Black Lions," as the Arabs called them in Mesopotamia, of the Punjab sacrificed their lives for the defence of freedom in Europe for an ally that was ruling their own homeland, yet they did it out of honour and loyalty. (Arjan