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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:34 pm 
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A post for those who loves history or who have family members who have given their life to fight for King and Country...
Between the 30th June and 18th November, the Arboretum will be commemorating the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme, which lasted 141 days and saw over one million casualties.

http://www.thenma.org.uk/events-and-new ... 7M,F2JWP,1


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:07 pm 
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By the end of the first world war up to 1.4 million soldiers of the British Indian army had fought in the campaigns including the Battle of the Somme.The following link shows the contribution of Sikhs during the war they were all volunteers.

https://www.unitedsikhs.org/rtt/pdf/Fre ... mbined.pdf

The population of Punjab was about 4 million in 1914.The Sikhs of Punjab provided 39% recruitment in combatant ranks in 1915 and 26% during the years 1915-1918 to the British Indian Army, though their population was only 12% as compared to 50% of Muslims and 36% of Hindus in Punjab.

Indian soldiers were only eligible for the Victoria Cross from 1911 onwards.In 1897 at the Battle of Saragarhi when 21 Sikh soldiers fought to their deaths against 10,000 Afghans they were all awarded the Indian Order of Merit the highest bravery award at the time.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/arme ... -saragarhi

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:59 am 
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An interesting diary of events for the arboretum, thanks for posting Jane Eyre. I did wonder though how they were going to manage a guided walk through tge Somme, until further down their page they explained it was a walk through their memorials which relate to the Somme :D

If you've never been to the national arboretum it's a very worthwhile place to go with magnificent memorials. As well as the main memorial wall (we have a friend commemorated here who was killed in Northern Ireland) there is a haunting memorial to the controversial 'shot at dawn' soldiers of WWI as well as many, many others. One of my favourites being the memorial to the circus performers who participated in the Great War. It was rather strange to suddenly come across a painted fairground horse and golden poles, then you realise the significance of it and it all falls into place.

Another magnificent memorial is the one to the airborne troops of WWII which has a life size parachutist landing and trying to reel in his parachute which is being taken up by the wind.

I wonder if the schools taking part in the whistle blowing will be doing it individually or all congregating at the memorial - that would be spine tingling to hear.

The contribution by our commonwealth friends was enormous and it's surprising how far and wide men came from.

We went expecting it to take maybe half an hour or so but we were there for over two hours and that was rushing it. Do go, you'll be glad you did.

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