Sikh battle standards at Lichfield Cathedral

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The Sutlej memorial commemorating the fallen soldiers from the Staffordshire 80th Regiment of Foot, from the Sutlej Campaign, later known as the 1st Sikh War.

During Britain’s rule of India there were many wars and campaigns. During the First Sikh War the 80th were to gain a further three battle honours. The Sikh army, with European trained Soldiers, became increasingly dominant in state affairs. An invading army crossed into British Territory on Dec 11 1845.

At Moodkee on Dec 18 1845 a force of between 15-25,000 Sikhs were met by 12,000 British under the command of General Sir Hugh Gough. The British Regiments eventually drove the Sikhs from the field of battle. Of the 824 soldiers of the 80th only 24 were killed or wounded.

Following this victory the British Forces moved to confront the main Sikh forces and the Battle of Ferozeshah commenced on Dec 21 1845. The Sikh encampment was eventually cleared with their leader Tej Singh withdrawing . 817 soldiers of the 80th took part, with 120 killed or wounded.

The final battle took part at Sobroan on Feb 10 1846 when a British Force of 20,000 faced 35,000 Sikhs. The Sikh fortifications were finally breached and they were driven across the Sutlej River. 816 soldiers of the 80th took part with 91 killed or wounded.

 

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