My last post, about losing the heritage of Saragarhi, was met with much response, negative and positive towards the issue of Punjab losing it’s history.
But I re-iterate what I said earlier, appreciating heritage and the memorials to those who fought and died is crucial not just for us but future generations.
Establishing fact and researching deeper into historic events to find the truth is also key. I feel privileged in being able to do this with my journalistic skills, military know-how and understanding of Sikh faith and values.
I recommend that you all also try and discover more about Sikh heritage – ask questions and read more.
It’s something I regularly do, and here is a point in case.
The the state of the Saragarhi memorial in Ferozepur brought much joy, kept in much better condition than the 1901 memorial in Amritsar and a thriving Gurdwara where langar is served and visitors regularly attend.
But my attention was drawn towards the canon placed at the four entrances to the Gurdwara.
What were they? Where were they from? And how did they get to the memorial?
With help from Neil Carleton, an expert on historic gun pieces, I can shed some light on these canon, and hopefully raise more factual awareness about something which you might take for granted at the memorial.
Here is the paragraph from my forthcoming book “Saragarhi: The Forgotten Battle”:
“Outside the memorial are placed canon at each of the four entrances; one light 6-pound field gun and two 9-pound wheeled carriage guns. The latter is an example of a bronze field gun which saw service in the East India Company during the Anglo-Sikh Wars, a rare treat as these were melted down for scrap metal and replaced by iron and steel artillery pieces from the 1860’s. The lighter gun is dated 1856 and from its inscription we can tell it was built by Captain A. Broome who was in charge of the British gun foundry at Cossipore on the Hooghly river near Calcutta. It is possible that these treasured pieces saw action against the Sikhs and during India Mutiny, but now in a twist of irony they stand as guardians to the sacred Sikh scriptures placed inside the Gurdwara.”
Please do, as always, message me and comment here on these posts. But also, should you find yourself in Punjab, make a pilgrimage to the Saragarhi memorials in Amritsar and Ferozpur – in remembrance to those who fought on the Samana and their enduring legacy.
PS – if you are quoting this post, as some websites are, please make sure you attribute it properly!