The Sikhs (Gordon)

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THE SIKHS

 

The Sikhs-0008.jpg

THE NATIONAL HERO OF THE SIKHS—
RANJIT SINGH, MAHARAJA OF THE PUNJAB, 1801-1839

After a sketch by the Hon. E. Eden, taken at Lahore,
December 1838, during Lord Auckland's visit.

 

THE SIKHS

 

BY

GENERAL
SIR JOHN J. H. GORDON, K.C.B.

 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR

 

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON
MCMIV

PREFACE.


No visitors at the celebration of the King's Coronation in London received a heartier welcome than the soldiers of the many races and classes who so well represented the Indian Army. Our home people were able to see the quality of the men who compose it, while they themselves were enabled to form a clearer conception of Britain's strength and resources and the character of her people. They were supremely pleased at being present on such an auspicious occasion as the crowning of their King-Emperor, and carried away with them, and left behind them, feelings that should draw closer the ties which bind India and its people to the British Crown. Politically it was a practical gain for all.

Conspicuous among them were the Sikhs,—tall, bearded, dignified-looking men, intelligent and keen observers,—whose soldierly bearing was the admiration of all who beheld them. The name Sikh is reminiscent of very hard fighting against us fifty years ago, and of equally hard fighting for us on many a field since. Belonging to an exceptional as well as a fine martial race, more than ordinary interest is attached to them on account of their origin and religion. In the following pages I have given a short sketch of this warlike race, and of their rise through much tribulation to power as a nation, and transformation by the fortune of war into loyal and hearty subjects of the Great Queen Victoria. In addition to personal notes made during many years' service with Sikhs, I have drawn information from various old works relating to them by Malcolm, Cunningham, M'Gregor, Smyth, and others, and also from the History of the Punjab by Syad Muhammad Latif and Dr Trumpp's Translation of the 'Granth,' the Sacred Book of the Sikhs.

J. J. H. GORDON.

35 Onslow Square, London,
1st September 1904.

 

ILLUSTRATIONS.


PAGE
THE NATIONAL HERO OF THE SIKHS—RANJIT SINGH, MAHARAJA OF THE PUNJAB, 1801-39 Frontispiece
BABA SIR KHEM SINGH, BEDI, OF KULLAR, K.C.I.E., LINEAL DESCENDANT IN THE FOURTEENTH GENERATION FROM BABA NANAK, THE SIKH REFORMER 24
GURU GOVIND SINGH'S ARMED DISCIPLES, THE EARLY SOLDIERS OF THE KHALSA 42
KHALSA HORSEMEN MAKING A DASH BY NIGHT TO AMRITSAR 58
A SIKH SARDAR 70
AN A KALI SIKH SOLDIER 74
MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH REVIEWING HIS ARMY 102
SHER SINGH, MAHARAJA OF THE PUNJAB, 1841-43 122
REGULAR AND IRREGULAR INFANTRY, SIKH ARMY, 1845 152
THE GOLDEN TEMPLE, AMRITSAR 184
CEREMONY OF SIKH BAPTISM 192
SIKH SOLDIERS BURNING THEIR DEAD ON THE BATTLEFIELD AT PAIWAR KOTAL, AFGHANISTAN, 1878 198
HIGHLANDERS AND SIKHS STORMING THE SECUNDRA BAGH, LUCKNOW, 1875 218
SIKH CAVALRY AND INFANTRY OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS, INDIAN ARMY, PRESENT DAY 224
MORNING PRAYERS AT A SIKH CHAPEL IN THE REGIMENTAL LINES 228
A NOTABLE SIKH CHIEF, COLONEL HIS HIGHNESS RAJA SIR HIRA SINGH OF NABHA, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., COLONEL 14TH FEROZEPORE SIKHS, INDIAN ARMY 232


This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.