My fascination with Saragarhi

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I’m a journalist by profession – I produce live breaking international news in a rolling news environment. So why did I write an authoritative military history of the Battle of Saragarhi?

I’m trained to tell a story, and for me the opportunity to narrate the heroics of Sikhs who fought for Britain has become a passion.  Anyone who hears about the bravery shown at Saragarhi will understand why.

The battle took place in 1897 and saw 21 Sikh soldiers from the 36th Sikh Regiment defend a small outpost against 10,000 tribesmen.  They fought for more than six hours until their outpost fell.  They died fighting to the last.

I first heard about the battle several years ago, when I was approached (as a broadcaster) to present a documentary about it.  The project never happened, but that did not stop my interest in finding out more.

So I read about the battle online, but I felt unsatisfied about the story as there seemed to be so little research and authority on Saragarhi.

Nor could anyone tell me why it was significant today – historic events can inspire us but where was the analysis?

It was said to be one which was on a parallel as a last stand to the story of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae – but if this was the case then why had it not received wider attention?  Why had it been forgotten?

My journalistic nature led me not to accept what I was being told by heritage groups and those Indians who professed knowledge of Saragarhi.  My curiosity led me to do my own research and discover the battle’s significance for myself.

After years of quiet research and much of 2013 spent collating and writing my manuscipt, I’m pleased to be releasing “Saragarhi: The Forgotten Battle”.

The book is one I’m proud of, it’s not my first book but it is the first military history I have written.

I hope you will enjoy it and share the true story of Saragarhi with others – and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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