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During Second World War this action was repeated. Even though there was now a quest for Indian Independence British Indian Army grew from 189,000 at start of war to over 2.5 million through voluntary recruitment and a large proportion of those were Sikh. At no other time in history has a foreign army this large been voluntarily mobilised to fight for a foreign land as if it were their own country. The significance of this should not be underestimated.
In 1944, Sikh Soldiers halted advance of Japanese in Burma and prevented them from invading India. Four VC’s were awarded in this campaign.
As British Empire came to a close many Sikhs were encouraged to settle in UK. Their loyalty, hard work ethics and historic connection with British should be remembered. Many Sikh families in Birmingham are direct descendents of those who put so much into this country.
Of course, there were also millions of Russians who died in Second World War. One might argue that Russians won war and that without them things would have been significantly different. Then of course there are 100,000 Gurkhas who fought in World War I and 40 battalions of Gurkhas in Second World War. What of Polish who valiantly fought during Battle of Britain and those from other nations who out of Patriotism and loyalty, came from oversees to enlist, and often die, in order that we might enjoy our freedom today.
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