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Britain wants more Sikhs in its army

Press Trust of India

Posted: Oct 14, 2004 at 2136 hrs IST

With the aim of attracting more Sikhs to its army, Britain has relaxed uniform rules for the community.

"As of today there are less than 100 Sikhs serving in the British armed services, but we are working with the Sikh communities in the UK to attract more," British High Commissioner Michael Arthur said, delivering the first Maharaja Ranjit Singh memorial lecture on "Anglo-Sikh Relations" here on Thursday.

"We have adapted our uniforms to suit their needs," Arthur said.

Lauding the contribution of Sikhs to the British army, he said at the time of First World War, Sikhs formed 20 per cent of the British army. That meant 100,000 Sikhs.

"In the 100 years to 1945, there were some 14 Victoria Crosses awarded to Sikhs. On a per capita basis, given the size of Sikh regiments, that must be a record for the entire British armed forces," he said.

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