Category Archives: war

Martyr’s Day in Pakistan

Martyr’s Day or Yaum e Shuhada is being observed today in Pakistan. Let’s remember and pray for those soldiers that gave their life defending their country.

martyrs day

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11th Day..

Today we remember those who lost their lives in World War I and II. I’m relisting the names of soldiers that were mentioned in a BBC programme a couple of years ago called Muslim Tommies:

Amir Khan – 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia – 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman – 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan – 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani – 125th Napier’s Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan – 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey – 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan – 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan – 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan – 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan – 129th Baluchis, Aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan – 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan – Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan – 38th CIH, France Oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah – Hodson’s Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah – Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan – 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah – June 1916

Someone, somewhere will have known these men…

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Tuesday’s Tip: Look for clues at home

My tip for today is:

Look through old pictures, letters, deeds, wills, military records, family data etc to find clues about your ancestors.

Whilst looking through an old photo album, I came across this:


Now, I already knew about this relative as I had met him and been told stories about him by my Mum, but it’s nice to be able to see a photograph of him in his uniform. QH was the youngest of 7 siblings. I was told he worked in the Pakistan Army and went to fight in the war between Pakistan and India, where he was captured and kept prisoner for some time until he was returned.

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Blog on hiatus

Hi there. This is just to say that due to circumstances blogging will be on hiatus for a while. To keep you going I’ll be posting some old blog posts from previous years.

In the meantime..

Muslim Tommies

Muslim Tommies is a BBC program that was aired on the 2nd of September. Now, like me you’re probably thinking ‘what are tommies?’ So before I go on I’ll explain the term ‘tommy’.

Tommy is a common term for a soldier in the British Army, usually associated with World War I.

What I learned from watching the program..

* The Indian army was mobilised Sep 1914 in Europe
* Soldiers were known as ‘sepoys’
* The hardships of these men have been lost in history
* Accounts written by the men were translated and are now available
* The soldiers usually came from poor rural communities
* On 30th Oct 1914, Sepoy Khudadad Khan was awarded the Victoria Cross (it was the first ever to be awarded to an Indian soldier)
* The first purpose built mosque in England is in Woking (Shah Jahan mosque)
* A graveyard was built near the mosque for the burial of Muslim soldiers
* In 1968 the remains of the soldiers were removed to Brookwood cemetry nearby where nineteen first world war and five 2nd world war soldiers now rest
* In May 1915, soldiers moved from France to present day Iraq to fight Germany’s Turkish allies
* They had to fight Muslim Turks
* They refused, and so 429 soldiers received long prison sentences
* 8,500 troops had died by the end, 1/3 wud have been Muslims
* A unique ceremony is held at Brighton to commemorate their bravery and remember the Indian troops who died
* It’s called the Chattri memorial

Soldiers mentioned were:

Amir Khan – 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia – 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman – 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan – 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani – 125th Napier’s Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan – 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey – 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan – 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan – 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan – 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan – 129th Baluchis, aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan – 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan – Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan – 38th CIH, France oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah – Hodson’s Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah – Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan – 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah – June 1916

All in all, this program really opened my eyes to the life of the Indian soldiers that fought the war for Britain. It’s something that I was not taught in school which makes me think about other children who are studying about war at school and yet being unaware of the role played by these men who share their ancestry. Is it fair that their part in the war should be left out? Why shouldn’t we acknowledge the loss of these men?

Get in touch. Did one of your ancestors serve in the World War I or World War II? Do you have written accounts of the war from one of your great grandparents or grandparents?

Note: This is a repost from 30th September 2009.

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Armistice Day

Today we remember those who lost their lives in World War I and II. I’m relisting the names of soldiers that were mentioned in a BBC programme last year called Muslim Tommies:

Amir Khan – 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia – 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman – 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan – 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani – 125th Napier’s Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan – 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey – 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan – 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan – 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan – 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan – 129th Baluchis, Aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan – 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan – Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan – 38th CIH, France Oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah – Hodson’s Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah – Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan – 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah – June 1916

Someone, somewhere will have known these men…

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This is our war


I was considering sharing this song on My Pakistani Ancestry for some time but never got round to it. Now, after reading a blog post by Bushra Hassan on The Citizen’s Trust, it made me think about the war in Pakistan and the effects of that on ordinary lives. Go read her post “This is my war” and listen to the following song:

Artists: Haroon, Ali Haider, Ali Zafar, Shafqat, Strings, Shuja Haider and Hadiqa Kiyani

For those who need a translation of the lyrics:

Ye Hum Nahin
This is not us

Humare naam se pheli hui jhooti kahani hai
This story that is being spread in our names is a lie

Ye mohrein maut ki maathe pe ghairon ki nishani hai
These stamps of death on our forehead are the signs of others

Humain jis naam se tum jaante ho.. woh hum nahin
The name by which you know us – we are not that

Humain jis aankh se tum dehkte ho.. woh hum nahin
The eyes with which you look at us – we are not that

Ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin
This is not us – this is not us…

Jese shaam aate hi koyi rasta bhula bethe
As with the coming of night one loses one’s way

Andheron se darhein itna ke hum ghar hi jala bethe
We are scared of the dark so much that we are burning our own home

Ye kya chaaron taraf urti hui rigani hai
What is this rising all around us…

Humare naam se pheli hui jhooti kahani hai
The stories that are being spread in our names are lies

Ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin
This is not us – this is not us…

Ghira bethe hain raste main sabak hum saath rehne ka
We have lost on the way the lesson of living together

Humain ek doosre se isiliye bhi lag raha hai darh
We are now even scared of each other

Woh koyi aur hain jin ke tere haath main chehre hain
They are others whose faces are on your hands

Tumhara dukh samandar hai, humare zakham gehre hain
Your sadness is a deep sea – our wounds are deep

Humare naam se pheli hui jhooti kahani hai
The stories that are being spread in our names are lies

Ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin, ye hum nahin
This is not us – this is not us…

————–

This is the message we would like to protray to the world. That the bombings, the bloodshed, the killings are not what we are about. It’s not what we condone or endorse.

Ye hum nahi
This is not us..

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Muslim Tommies


Muslim Tommies
is a BBC program that was aired on the 2nd of September. Now, like me you’re probably thinking ‘what are tommies?’ So before I go on I’ll explain the term ‘tommy’.

Tommy is a common term for a soldier in the British Army, usually associated with World War I.

What I learned from watching the program..

* The Indian army was mobilised Sep 1914 in Europe
* Soldiers were known as ‘sepoys’
* The hardships of these men have been lost in history
* Accounts written by the men were translated and are now available
* The soldiers usually came from poor rural communities
* On 30th Oct 1914, Sepoy Khudadad Khan was awarded the Victoria Cross (it was the first ever to be awarded to an Indian soldier)
* The first purpose built mosque in England is in Woking (Shah Jahan mosque)
* A graveyard was built near the mosque for the burial of Muslim soldiers
* In 1968 the remains of the soldiers were removed to Brookwood cemetry nearby where nineteen first world war and five 2nd world war soldiers now rest
* In May 1915, soldiers moved from France to present day Iraq to fight Germany’s Turkish allies
* They had to fight Muslim Turks
* They refused, and so 429 soldiers received long prison sentences
* 8,500 troops had died by the end, 1/3 wud have been Muslims
* A unique ceremony is held at Brighton to commemorate their bravery and remember the Indian troops who died
* It’s called the Chattri memorial

Soldiers mentioned were:

Amir Khan – 129th Baluchis, France 1915
Subedar Muhammed Agia – 57th Rifles, May 1915
Havildar Abdul Rahman – 59th Rifles, France 1915
Juma Khan – 40th Pathans, France 1915
Sepoy Abdul Ghani – 125th Napier’s Rifles, France 1915
Naubet Khan – 107th Pioneers, France 1915
Mohamed Ali Bey – 20th Deccan Horses, France 1915
Abdul Jabar Khan, Sep 1917
Mahomed Mazafar Khan – 19th Lancers, France, Oct 1917
Jemadar Shamsher Ali Khan – 34th Poona Horse, France, April 1917
Dafadar Fazi Khan – 19th Lancers, France Oct 1916
Havildar Ghufran Khan – 129th Baluchis, aug 1915
Abdul Ali Khan – 6th Cavalry, France Aug 1917
Rajwali Khan – Brighton, Sep 1915 (at hospital)
Raja Khan – 38th CIH, France oct 1917
Jemadar Hasan Shah – Hodson’s Horse, France 1916
Kesu Shah – Rouen, May 1916
Rahimdad Khan – 19th Lancers, France, May 1916
Fateh Ullah – June 1916

All in all, this program really opened my eyes to the life of the Indian soldiers that fought the war for Britain. It’s something that I was not taught in school which makes me think about other children who are studying about war at school and yet being unaware of the role played by these men who share their ancestry. Is it fair that their part in the war should be left out? Why shouldn’t we acknowledge the loss of these men?

Get in touch. Did one of your ancestors serve in the World War I or World War II? Do you have written accounts of the war from one of your great grandparents or grandparents?

4 Comments

Filed under british army, grandparents, indian army, soldiers, war