Bhupinder Singh honoured in Ieper for First World War remembrance efforts

Bhupinder Singh, a Sikh from India, has been invited by the city of Ieper to thank him for his efforts to remember the Sikh contribution to the Great War.

Sikh people have been coming to Ieper for decades in the build-up to Armistice Day on 11 November. The Sikhs, with their beards and turbans as typical features, made an important contribution to the Great War, taking part in the Westhoek fights. 

Bhupinder Singh, who lives in the Netherlands, has been making efforts for years to get people to Ieper to remember the Sikh contribution. He was invited by the city of Ieper to be honoured in the In Flanders Fields Museum. 

The Sikhs come from the whole of western Europe, but also from the United States and India. 20 years ago, a first momument was erected in Hollebeke especially for the Sikhs. However, it doesn't show any names: "It is hard to say how many Sikhs perished in the First World War. It must have been several thousands, but one of the problems is that all Sikh family names are Singh, and that we don't have any clear records", explains Dominiek Dendooven of the In Flanders Fields Museum. 

It's hard to say how many Sikhs perished in the First World War, but it must be thousands