Sikhism is the world’s 5th largest religion with over 27 million followers worldwide, of which 20 million reside in India.
According to a 1994 estimate, Punjabis comprised 10 to 15 percent of all ranks in the Indian Army, although the state contained less than 3% of the country’s population.
By the beginning of World War I, Sikhs in the British Indian Army totalled over 100,000. Until 1945 fourteen Victoria Crosses were awarded to Sikhs, a per-capita regimental record.
During World War I, Sikh battalions fought in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and France.
Six battalions of the Sikh Regiment were raised during World War II, serving in the Second Battle of El Alamein, the Burma and Italian campaigns and in Iraq. They received 27 battle honours.
In the last two world wars, 83,005 turban wearing Sikh soldiers were killed and 109,045 were wounded fighting for the British Empire. During shell fire, they had no other head protection but the turban, the symbol of their faith. — General Sir Frank Messervy
Sri Guru Singh Sabha located in London suburb of Southall (UK) is the biggest Gurdwara outside India spanning 6,000 square meters in finished marble and granite.
Sir Winston Churchill, who served two terms as the Prime Minister of United Kingdom said, “British people are highly indebted and obliged to Sikhs for a long time. I know that within this century we needed their help twice [in two world wars] and they did help us very well. As a result of their timely help, we are today able to live with honour, dignity, and independence. In the war, they fought and died for us, wearing the turbans”.