Haughton’s Grave Rediscovered
During our filming for “Saragarhi: The True Story” we have been delving deep into two leaders who’s courage and duty proved crucial on the Samana in 1897. One was Havildar Ishar Singh, about whom very little is know. The other is the commanding officer of the 36th Sikhs, Lt Col John Haughton.
Haughton’s life and times have been well chronicled by his biographer Major A.C. Yates and so we know all about his upbringing in India, his schooling in Leicestershire and his subsequent service on the frontier. This has all been explored elsewhere on this website. During our research we had the opportunity to film at his school in Uppingham and retrace his steps as an officer.
Now we can share that after months of work we’ve managed to track down his grave in Peshawar as well.
Above left is Haughton and in the middle is his grave site and the marble monument placed on it after his death and burial.
Below here is how it looks now. Sadly the elements (and perhaps vandals) have left the monument in ruins. It is only the middle segment of the monument that survives, the cross is long gone as is the top block that said “sacred to the memory of”.
Also missing or destroyed is the bottom marble segment which said “”erected by his brother officers of the 35th and 36th Sikhs in token of their regard for him as a true gentleman and a gallant soldier.”
On the surviving marble segment you can still read that it says “Lt Col John Haughton Commandant 36th Sikhs Killed in action at the Shin Kamar Pass Bara Valley Tirah on the 29th January 1898 Aged 46 years”, although the last line is obscured by the ground.
Finding Haughton’s resting place is important for us, not just to ensure this is included in the forthcoming documentary but to catalogue this hero’s final resting place. It is where this commander, who was dedicated to his men and his regiment, was buried after his tragic but heroic death during the Torah campaign.
It is our hope that those who have a chance to visit Pakistan make it a point to see and pay respects to this bold and inspiring leader. You will find him at the Gora Kabristan just off the GT Road.