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Hira Singh: When India Came to Fight in Flanders

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The Germans cheered and laughed, but we made never a sound.


HIRA SINGH
WHEN INDIA CAME TO FIGHT
IN FLANDERS


By TALBOT MUNDY


ILLUSTRATED BY
J. CLEMENT COLL

 

McKINLAY, STONE & MACKENZIE,
NEW YORK

 

 

PREFACE

I take leave to dedicate this book to Mr. Elmer Davis, through whose friendly offices I was led to track down the hero of these adventures and to find the true account of them even better than the daily paper promised.

Had Ranjoor Singh and his men been Muhammadans their accomplishment would have been sufficiently wonderful. For Sikhs to attempt what they carried through, even under such splendid leadership as Ranjoor Singh's, was to defy the very nth degree of odds. To have tried to tell the tale otherwise than in Hira Singh's own words would have been to varnish gold. Amid the echoes of the roar of the guns in Flanders, the world is inclined to overlook India's share in it all and the stout proud loyalty of Indian hearts. May this tribute to the gallant Indian gentlemen who came to fight our battles serve to remind its readers that they who give their best, and they who take, are one.

T. M.

 

 

One hundred Indian troops of the British Army have arrived at Kabul, Afghanistan, after a four months' march from Constantinople. The men were captured in Flanders by the Germans and were sent to Turkey in the hope that, being Mohammedans, they might join the Turks. But they remained loyal to Great Britain and finally escaped, heading for Afghanistan. They now intend to join their regimental depot in India, so it is reported.

New York Times, July, 1915