Issue No:  15


In This Issue

  • Galloping Ahead
  • Heritage Shared 2010
  • The Maharajah & The Kohinoor Play
  • ASHT Learning Resources
  • Other News & Events

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Galloping Ahead
 Image1-Saragarhi Day Campaign Emblem. Image2-Saragarhi Challenge Cup Polo Match. Photo by Jag Reyatt.Image3-Sikh Symbols laid in commemoration during Saragarhi Day in Leamington Spa. Photo by M.Pachoo

"Stories may fade. Tradition never Dies"

ASHT pulled off another pioneering first by conceiving and spearheading the Saragarhi campaign.

The campaign commenced with a high profile launch at the Imperial War Museum on 27th July which featured General Sir Richard Dannant and ASHT Ambassadors Sir Mota Singh QC and Pops from Tigerstyle.

This was followed by a formal press launch at the National Army Museum and saw two of the UK's most distinguished soldier's Viscount Lord Slim and Field Marshall Sir John Chappell join the invited guests. Coverage of the campaign was carried in the Daily Telegraph and the British Forces Broadcasting Channel.

In a further exciting departure from its usual events ASHT organised a polo match between a visiting Sikh team and the British Army. Held at the Royal Berkshire Polo Ground this fiercely competitive and entertaining match was played for the inaugural Saragarhi Challenge Cup. The silver trophy, donated by the publishers of the Nishaan journal, was presented by HRH the Prince of Wales to the British army team. The Sikh team included Angad Singh, grandson of The Maharajah of Patiala.

To mark the actual anniversary of the battle ASHT co-ordinated various acts of remembrance throughout the UK on Sunday 12th September. The focal point was a service and act of remembrance co hosted by ASHT, Sikh Heritage Association Warwick & Leamington and the Gurudwara Sahib at Leamington.  Special guests were Ricky Haughton (whose great grand uncle commanded the 36th Sikhs at the battle), and Paramjit Singh whose great grandfather served in the relief force which reached the fort after the original action. The event was attended by several notable dignitaries including local Mayors and the local MP.

The service culminated in local youngsters laying commemorative symbols and the playing of the last post.

 Heritage Shared 2010
 Kids storytelling session - Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.  Heritage Shared 2010. Image courtesy George Gill

This year's Heritage Shared month of events proved to be a great success which left audiences feeling not only inspired but wanting more!

The series began in London with the launch of a groundbreaking new book The First Anglo Sikh War and blazed it's way across the country with talks, exhibitions and film screenings. The finale was a spectacular evening at The Royal Engineers Museum in Chatam where visitors were treated to a display of armour from the Anglo Sikh Wars and toured the galleries of this fascinating and often overlooked museum.

"Need a lot more of these events for the children"

"Excellent film more people need to see it"

"Wonderful - Please organise more history events!!"

Visit to see the picture gallery

The Maharajah & The Kohinoor Play
 Scene from the Maharajah and the Kohinoor.Image Jag Reyatt

Touring around schools and venues across the UK until December!

A touching tale charting one of the most illustrious episodes in British history. Told through the eyes of the much disputed Kohinoor diamond, the play follows the story of Duleep Singh, Maharajah of Lahore and King of the Sikh Empire, who was deposed at the age of eleven and sent to England.

Separated from his mother he arrived on the shores of England and was immediately adopted by Queen Victoria. Encouraged by Her Majesty, Duleep Singh established solid relationships with the Royal family over the years but died penniless and alone in a hotel in France.

"The Maharajah & the Kohinoor was a fantastic success and we were absolutely thrilled with the response from families. I was particularly pleased with the performer's skills in inspiring audience participation." V&A Museum

Available for bookings at schools and venues in your area!

For information on performance dates and to book visit

ASHT Learning Resources
 ASHT Education

Did you know that Maharajah Duleep Singh lived in East Anglia as a Victorian country gentleman and shot rabbits with the Prince of Wales? That Queen Victoria commissioned portraits of her Sikh subjects which bear comparison with the best modern photography? That the Kohinoor diamond from the Sikh royal treasury inspired the first detective novel in English literature?

ASHT has developed these fascinating facts into FREE learning resources for young people, making it even easier to explore Sikh history!

Prepared by a highly experienced e-learning educator and designed to support the National Curriculum for KS2 & KS3 in Drama, Art & Design, Citizenship, Geography, History and RE, the resources cover topics of interest to learners of all ages and backgrounds.  Available to download now from the ASHT website!

Find out more at or email

Other News & Events
Image1-Local Sikhs at lecture in Glasgow.Photo by AcreVisioN.Image2-The Lions Firanghis Cover.Image3-A Lions Mane Cover.Image4-New CWGC memorial in Brighton.Photo by Taran Singh

Water Stirred with Steel

Local Sikhs recently gathered at the Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Glasgow to hear a talk on the life and martyrdom of iconic Sikh hero Baba Deep Singh, by Sikh scholar Harisimran Singh.  The evening, organised by ASHT in association with Sikhs in Scotland and supported by Tigerstyle, also gave guests the opportunity to learn about the remarkable work of Sikh Charity, Khalsa Aid.  Ravinder Singh from the organisation highlighted their current projects helping the poor and destitute in India and around the globe.

The Lions Firanghis: Europeans at the Court of Lahore

By Bobby Singh Bansal

The kingdom of Maharajah Ranjit Singh was famed for its military prowess as much as its riches. The Maharajah however, was fully aware of the technological weakness of his native army and knew that its modernisation was imperative to survive against the advancing British.

The opportunity to modernise arose in 1822 with the arrival of two European officers at the Court of Lahore. His newly arrived ‘soldiers of fortune' were former officers of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, and by the 1830s a multifarious array of French, Prussian, Spanish, Dutch and Italian officers had descended on the Anglo-Punjab frontier, hoping to enlist in the services of the opportunistic Maharajah.

In his unique inaugural book the author examines the lives of these ‘European mercenaries', who had served with such distinction, whose impact at the opulent Court of Lahore became legendary, and what became of them after they had returned to Europe. On sale now!

A Lions Mane

By Navjot Kaur

New illustrated book about the Sikh Turban goes on sale

In this beautifully illustrated story, young readers journey to cultures around the world to explore the meaning of the dastaar, or turban of the Sikhs. Allusive words placed within a vibrant red dastaar help promote our connections as global citizens and encourage dialogue around issues of identity and kinship. 'A Lion's Mane' promises to be a staple on the shelves of all young visionaries.

"A Lion's Mane takes the reader through an exciting journey of a little boy who shares his life values through his dastaar" Jasmine Kaur, Director of Education, Sikh Research Institute

For further information visit

New Indian Memorial

On Sunday 26th September 2010, a new memorial, paying tribute to 53 Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died during the First World War, was unveiled.

The memorial, built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, lists the names of those soldiers who were cremated at a funeral pyre site, known as a ghatt, on the hills overlooking Brighton. The new memorial sits alongside the existing Brighton Chattri, which was built after the Great War and which pays tribute to all those Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Empire.

Commenting on the ceremony Co-organiser of the Chattri Memorial Service Davinder Dhillon said:

'Its a hugely significant day. We feel very proud and very grateful to these people who fought in the first world war for our freedom'

Watch video of the ceremony at

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