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Remembering the turbaned titans of World Wars

Exhibition of historic pictures of Sikh soldiers who served in World War I and II Source: Facebook

A photographic exhibition of Sikh Military History showcasing rare photos and memorabilia from Word Wars I & II is opening in Sydney's StirrUp Gallery on April 21st ahead of Anzac Day.

An exhibition tracing the contribution of Sikh soldiers in war effort across the world will line the walls of the StirrUP Gallery at Addison Road Community Centre from 21st to 26th of April in Sydney.

A part of ANZAC Day celebrations, the exhibition presented by the National Sikh Council of Australia will showcase over 200 historical pictures documenting the journey and role of Sikh troops from the late 18th century till the end of World War II in 1945.

Titled ‘Duty, Honour, Country’- the display will include a collection of black and white photographs and artefacts of Sikh soldiers who served in Malaya, Singapore, Burma(Myanmar), Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, the Middle East Africa and Europe.

The curator of this exhibition is Harchand Singh Bedi who told SBS Punjabi that most of the photographs are from the archives of the Imperial War Museum in Elephant and Castle, London.

“On Anzac celebrations there is an abundance of information in the media. But we still lack to educate people about the martial contribution of other communities"-Harchand Singh Bedi

“Sikhs were blessed to be born warriors and defend for others. They stood for rights of others and never were down-trodden", said Mr Bedi

Secretary of the National Sikh Council of Australia, Bawa Singh Jagdev feels "its a must-see event especially for the youngsters who should be made aware of the contribution of Sikhs in war history."

Thousands of Indian troops including Gurkha and Sikh battalions were enlisted as soldiers in the Australian Imperial Forces, but a few records remain about their significant contribution to the war effort.

According to Australian historian and researcher Prof Peter Stanley, there were four Gurkha battalions, one Sikh infantry battalion (of 14th Sikhs which suffered 80% casualties in June 1915 alone) and thousands of Punjabi mule drivers in Gallipoli alone.

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