Sikhs remember WW1 through song

The Sikh gurdwara (temple) on Lady Pit Lane in Beeston is this Saturday hosting a free concert featuring music, story-telling, readings, and poetry that recall the experiences of the thousands of Sikh soldiers who fought alongside Britain in World War One.


The show, called ‘Sacred Sounds’, last week headlined at the Howard Assembly Rooms in town. It features local youngsters performing alongside professional musicians, and has been produced by Alchemy in association with SAA UK and The Network of Sikh Organisations.

More then 877,000 Indian soldiers, many of them Punjabi Sikhs, fought in WWI. Their involvement has only recently been fully acknowledged in remembrance of the Great War. Inspired by the discovery of a single photograph held by the British Library, this special concert uncovers the music the soldiers took with them to the camp and battlefield.

Interspersed by readings of Sikh soldiers’ letters, the concert explores the songs of the Great War, from ‘Shabads’, sacred Sikh hymns sung before battle, to a mother’s lament for a departing son. With Keertan Rehal, Kirpal Singh Panesar, Christella Litras and band.

The concert starts 6pm this Saturday (11 July 2015) at the Sikh temple at 78 Lady Pit Lane (the former Rington’s tea factory), and will run until 8pm. Free, and open to all.