Issue No:  8


In This Issue

  • Heritage Shared
  • A Tradition of Valour
  • Saving Punjab's Heritage
  • Training
  • Latest News & Events

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Heritage Shared
 Tigerstyle perform live on the grounds of the Tower of London. Image Taran Singh

Against the lit London skyline and ancient walls of the Tower of London, ‘Tigerstyle' launched this year's Anglo Sikh Heritage events series ‘Heritage Shared' with a live concert inspired by the life of the last Maharajah of Punjab.

Taking place across the country during the whole of September, the range of unique events left audiences full of inspiration and hungry for more information! Highlights include, ‘The Singh Twins', bringing to the fore through art, the traumatic events in Amritsar 1984, UK film premier of ‘The Prisoner's Song', outdoor theatre performances of ‘The Maharajah & the Kohinoor' and a superb talk about the origins of Sikh martial tradition and Baba Deep Singh.

Priya Mann, Studentthere are missing pieces in my knowledge about the history of the Sikhs; through these events I'm gradually completing the jigsaw illustrating this fascinating heritage'

For event reviews and picture gallery visit

A Tradition of Valour
 Nand Singh VC. Image IWM "Countless Sikh portraits of courage are remembered collectively in the daily Sikh Ardaas (supplication). However, while Sikh martyrs are remembered in gurdwaras, there have been few initiatives which tell the world about them. One such initiative is the annual "Portraits of Courage" lecture hosted by ASHT in association with the Imperial War Museum.

This year's lecture on 29th September, "A Tradition of Valour" was the tenth in the series. It summarised the main themes of the series to an attentive mixed audience of leading representatives from diverse fields. Enthralled, the audience heard of the Saragarhi 21 and other martyrdoms in the Sikh military tradition.

Other more recent events in the Sikh calendar like 1984, were mentioned. There was also a reminder of the Sikh aspiration to keep Sikh military tradition alive in the UK. The issue of setting up a Sikh regiment, fighting as part of the British troops in Afghanistan, remains a live issue. We were reminded that the battle of Saragarhi was fought in the same area where the British troops are in action today."

Taken from an article by Gurmukh Singh featured in The Sikh Times

Saving Punjab's Heritage
Painting of the Akali Tower, Amritsar 1854 by William Carpenter. Image V & A

Conservation architect and ASHT supporter Gurmeet Rai is helping to save some of Punjab's historical heritage in India. She has persuaded a number of funders to let her lead a team that would survey all the unprotected monuments along the Grand Trunk Road in Punjab.  She now heads the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI), a multidisciplinary conservation consultancy with projects all over the country, but it is preserving the relics of Sikh history that means the most to her. "Freezing buildings in time may not work here the way it does in the West," Gurmeet says. "There are too many pressures for change.... Our historic buildings need to mean something to the people who live around them. We need to involve them in our work, to make them understand its importance." Gurmeet Rai

Original Article by By Geoffrey C. Ward featured in the Smithsonian magazine

The recently launched Panjab Digital Library (PDL) is the first ever online collection of millions of rare pages on the Sikhs and the region of Panjab. It will include texts of manuscripts, books, magazines, newspapers and photographs and will be available to anyone with Internet access.

"Since long, preservation of heritage, research and education have been a victim of apathy in Panjab.... With the launch of the online digital library, we have tried to fill some of that gap..." Harinder Singh, co-founder and Executive Director of SikhRI

For further information visit

 Section of the Indian Order of Merit, Lahore 1869.Image V & A

ASHT has put together a bespoke daytime training programme in partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Learn how to preserve collections, handle ancient objects and visit the splendid Maharaja exhibition on Mon 30th November and Tuesday 1st December. Spaces are limited and your course fee could be subsidised.

For more information email

Latest News
Image 1. Golden Throne of Maharajah Ranjit Singh.Image V & A. Image 2. St Martin in the Fields
Maharaja Exhibition at the V & A, October 10th to January 17th 2010 - This major exhibition will explore the extraordinary culture of princely India and the world of the Maharajas. On display will be around 250 spectacular and beautiful objects, many on loan from Indian royal collections. As part of the Maharja Exhibition, The Maharajah & the Kohinoor - a touring production about the tragic life of the Last Maharjah of the Sikhs, Duleep Singh will be showing on November 1st at 12:30pm.

The Widow Colony - An award-winning documentary film about the legacy of Sikh killings in November of 1984 following the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Screening at The Drum, Birmingham from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th October.

Further information at

New Additions to the Trail

The Dissenters Chapel, in Kensal Green, is home to a memorial plaque to the Memory of Maharani Jindan Kaur who was briefly interred in the catacombs in 1863.

St Martin in the Fields - situated in London's world famous Trafalgar Square this church was the venue for a memorial service in 1918 for one of Maharajah Duleep Singh's sons Prince Victor, after his death in Monte Carlo. 

Further information at

Vacancy - An experienced Project Administrator is required to join the team to support the ongoing work of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail. 6 month contract. Based in Walsall.

Further information at
ASHT Contacts
Media Relations:
Telephone: 0845 600 1893
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