15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment in World War I

Indian soldiers fought in France in World War 1. One regiment was led by John George (Jackie) Smyth who won the Victoria Cross for bravery. He said afterwards that the Indian soldiers should have had higher honours than himself.
On 18th May, 1915 ten men from the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment volunteered in an extremely dangerous mission, This was near Richebourg L’Aouve in France, They had to take heavy crates containing 96 bombs to within twenty yards of the enemy’s position under heavy fire. Two earlier attempts had failed. They had to cross a stream wwith machine guns and rifles firing at them.
Three men succeeded in getting the ammunition to their colleagues, the other eight were killed or wounded. Jackie Smyth survived along with Lal Singh and one other.
Indian soldiers fought in both World Wars in Europe, Africa and South East Asia. Over 130,000 fought in France in World War 1 and the injured were taken to Brighton on the south coast of England. There is a memorial on the South Downs which was also the site of a funeral pyre where those who died were cremated according to Indian tradition.
Vital Link Educational 2006


Drawing from War Illustrated, 14th August, 1915

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