The Battle of the Somme: Leading the Charge
This July 1st, 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the Battle of The Somme during which an Indian cavalry regiment (20th Deccan Horse) led by a Sikh Squadron made a spectacular charge with the help of Canadian forces (Fort Garry Horse). It was the only real cavalry charge in the whole of the First World War and the fact that this singular honour of undertaking, one of the great exploits of courage in WW1, belongs to the Punjabi community is something that should be proudly shared with all Canadians. The Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history, Canada suffered 25,000 casualties amongst which a regiment of Newfoundlanders was nearly annihilated at Beaumont- Hamel.
On Canada day 2016, IMFC unveiled ‘Leading The Charge’ a new exhibit to commemorate the Centennial of the Battle of the Somme.
Sunset Community Centre
6810 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5X 0A1, (604) 718-6505
A Tale of Two Cities
Vancouver, Canada, July 23, 1914 Punjabis Undesirable:
Komagata Maru ejected from English Bay.
Marseilles, France, Sept 26, 1914 Punjabis Saviors:
Lahore Division (Indian Expeditionary Force) lands in France.
Given the Prime Minister’s recent apology for the Komagata Maru incident, the Ross Street exhibit hall, featuring the permanent Komagata Maru exhibit, provides an ideal venue to connect the events of 1914 in Vancouver with those of the First World War 1914-1918. Over 300,000 of the Indian troops that fought in WW1 were raised from the districts of Komagata Maru passengers. Despite the ill-treatment the community received at the hands of the Canadian Government, Indian colonial troops fought as brothers-in-arms with Canada under 1 Crown and flag during this battle and earlier engagements, including Canada’s first battle on the Western Front (2nd Battle of Ypres). The sacrifice of Punjab’s soldiers in the face of the discriminatory acts of Komagata Maru provides a supreme example of the values of duty and honour the Punjabi community holds dear – values proudly shared with all Canadians.
On Canada Day, July 1st, 2016, IMFC held an exhibit in South Vancouver to teach about this Indian and Canadian shared heritage.
Khalsa Diwan Society Vancouver Museum Hall
8000 Ross Street, Vancouver, BC V5X 4C5
Okanagan Military Tattoo 2016
A musical extravaganza of pipers, drummers, musicians, military bands, marching troops, multicultural dancers and singers of all ages brought together in an action packed, non-stop choreographed two-hour event. Featuring over 400 performers from all over North America paying tribute to our military past and present.
A musical tattoo is a demonstration of military drumming, piping and skills. Known as a ‘tattoo’ from when the British Army was fighting in Belgium 300 years ago, soldiers were called in from the pubs each night for curfew, or Doe den tap toe, Dutch for ‘Turn off the taps, too’.
The expression evolved to ‘tap-too’ and then ‘tattoo’: an exhilarating showcase of military bands, choirs and skills as well as the sounds and dances of today’s finest performers from around the world.
The Okanagan Military Tattoo was inaugurated in 2014 and in 2015 IMFC was invited to exhibit the Duty, Honour & Izzat display. In that time the Tattoo has grown to become the 2nd largest event of its kind in Canada and we are proud to return this year to commemorate the Centennial of the battle of the Somme.