Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Canadian Soldier Sikhs: A Little Story in a Big War
A film is being made by Canada's David R. Gray about ten Sikh men who enlisted in the Canadian Army in the First World War. As the website says, the film "follows the men through the enlistment process, training, and transport to France by troopship. It features the struggles these Sikh soldiers faced and the battles they fought, including those during which two of the men were killed".
The producers of the film are looking for assistance from people who travel to India, and may be able to contact the relatives and descendants of the ten Canadian Sikh soldiers. And they are looking for photos of any of these Canadian Sikh soldiers.
Postscript # 1 I have just been informed by Sandeep Singh Brar of the website at http://www.sikhmuseum.com/buckam which honours "Private Buckam Singh: Discovering a Canadian Hero" - the first Sikh to enlist in the First World War with an Ontario battalion.
The website says that "Buckam Singh came to B.C. from Punjab in 1907 at age 14 and eventually moved to Toronto in 1912/1913. He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915. He's one of the earliest known Sikhs living in Ontario at the time as well as one of only 9 Sikhs that we know of that served with Canadian troops in WWI".
Postscript # 2 According to a story in the Ottawa Citizen, there are a number of tunnels in France that have etchings in them. They are a reminder of the Canadian veterans who stayed in the tunnels in the wintertime while waiting to fight the Germans in the First World War.
There will be a travelling art exhibit of the etchings that will cross Canada in 2014, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war.
The story is found online at www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/French+tunnel+etchings+haunting+reminder+Canada+veterans/5666293/story.html.
Tomorrow's Post: Wreath Laying in Ottawa