The admirable heroism of the 15th Sikh Regiment of Ludhiana in France in 1915

The feat of Lieutenant John ‘Jackie’ Smyth and his Sikh soldiers in World War I

Sikhism is a religion from India that is made up of brave warriors who have written epic pages in military history.

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A few months ago we already saw one of those pages, perhaps the most famous: the Battle of Saragarhi, in which 21 brave Sikh soldiers faced off against more than 10,000 Afghan enemies. Much less well known is the feat of ten Sikh soldiers in World War I, led by a British officer, Lieutenant John “Jackie” Smyth. The YouTube channel Yarnhub has just dedicated one of its excellent videos to that historic episode, which occurred in France, near Richebourg L’Avoue, on May 18, 1915:

The protagonists of this story were the soldiers of the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment of the British India Army. For this feat, Lieutenant Smyth was awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military decoration. This unit of Sikh soldiers received an official citation in the London Gazette which said the following about their feat:

“For most conspicuous bravery near Richebourg L’Avoue on 18th May, 1915. With a bombing party of 10 men, who voluntarily undertook this duty, he conveyed a supply of 96 bombs to within 20 yards of the enemy’s position over exceptionally dangerous ground, after the attempts of two other parties had failed. Lieutenant Smyth succeeded in taking the bombs to the desired position with the aid of two of his men (the other eight having been killed or wounded), and to effect his purpose he had to swim a stream, being exposed the whole time to howitzer, shrapnel, machine-gun and rifle fire.

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