|ASHT Researcher Eve Haddow talks about her current research projects
The first of these focuses on the Battle of Saragarhi, which saw 21 Sikhs of the 36th Sikh regiment hold Fort Saragarhi against thousands of afridi and orakazai troops on the 12th of September 1897.
These brave men fought until the death, despite being seriously outnumbered they succeeded in holding off the enemy for over 6 hours. All 21 were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, the highest award an Indian serviceman could receive at that time.
A great deal has been written about Saragarhi but like all great feats it has gradually developed into somewhat of a legend. This research aims to establish the facts over what is perhaps a more romanticised version of events.
The second project I am working on is an exploration of the life of Udham Singh a well known but little understood figure. Udham Singh became infamous for shooting Sir Michael O'Dwyer who had been the Governor General of the Punjab at the time of the Amritsar massacre in 1919. Others at the meeting in Caxton Hall, London were also wounded. Udham was immediately arrested and charged with murder on the 1st of April 1940. At his trial in June 1940 he was found guilty and sentenced to death.
This is an incredibly interesting and complex research topic which addresses the other side of the coin, as it were, of Anglo-Sikh relations.