This book examines in successive chapters the Indian Army’s role in extending and securing the British Empire, especially the employment of Sikh soldiers to be in the vanguard of military operations, and as the Sentinels of the Empire. The book takes us from the fall of the Sikh kingdom to the horrors of the Sepoy mutiny. The North West Frontier of India, the most sensitive strategic frontier of the British Empire, as the British feared a Russian invasion of India through the Khyber and Bolan Passes as the Russian Empire had expanded towards India. The military operations on the Frontier tied down large numbers of Sikh soldiers in a long series of inconclusive skirmishes and major campaigns. The British military success over Burma in 1826 and the annexation of the Ahom kingdom of Assam marked the entry of the British to the Northeastern region of India. The right of conquest brought these territories directly under the control of the British government. The steady annexation of Chinese territory by Europeans led to British occupation of Hong Kong and Shanghai. This led to extensive recruitment of Sikh soldiers for paramilitary forces of these territories. The same tale of recruitment and policing is told of the Straits Settlements, especially the Sikhs of Singapore and Malaysia, who carry on the martial traditions of their forefathers in their respective countries. After the Indian Army’s conquest of East and Central Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Somaliland, the Sikh soldier policed the forests and barren lands of these countries. We are told how the Sikh soldiers were especially recruited to fight the slave hunters in Nyasaland and after defeating them, they went on to fight in the Ashanti war and in Somaliland. And finally, we see the Sikh soldier’s gallantry in the bloodletting of the Two World Wars.
SIKH SOLDIER: POLICING THE EMPIRE Volume 3
This is an extensively researched sequel to the author’s earlier publications on the Gallantry Awards and Battle Honours of the Sikh soldier.