Sikhs make our Armed Forces even stronger.

Britain's Armed Forces have always been a melting pot. Nelson defended our islands with ships crewed by Malays, Chinese, Irishmen, Indians, Americans, Scots, Welsh and, yes Englishmen. Regiments of Sikhs, Pathans, Gurkhas and Africans served Britain in the First World War. In the Second, Poles and Czechs were among the few leaving bases such as RAF West Malling to defend freedom from totalitarianism in the air.

Sikhs have a long tradition of serving the crown in Afghanistan. They stayed loyal during the Indian Mutiny then distinguished themselves in the second and third Afghan Wars. In 1897 at the Battle of Saragarhi, 21 Sikh soldiers died defending a British Army post against 10,000 Afghans. Ten Sikhs have won the Victoria Cross.

So it really comes as no surprise to me that Sikh leaders are keen for their young people to follow their grandfathers into the Armed Forces. Nor to hear that the Chief of the General Staff is considering creating a Sikh unit.

I really hope this happens? for having first hand experience of working alongside Sikhs in the British Army we are a better army for it.

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