* On the afternoon of Jan. 13, 1849, the British launched their attack. The Sikhs sighted them advancing from the direction of village Chillianwala and promptly opened fired. The Sikhs captured four British guns and the colors of three regiments. Chillianwala was the worst defeat suffered by the British since their occupation of India. An English observer wrote, “The Sikhs fought like devils …. fierce and untamed even in their dying struggle …. of such a mass if men I never set eye on and as plucky as lions. They ran right on the bayonets and struck at their assailants when they were transfixed. General Thackwell remarked, “The Sikhs engaged the enemy in a hand to hand combat. They caught hold of the bayonets of their assailants with their left hands and’ closing with their right. This circumstance alone will suffice to demonstrate the rare species of

Courage possessed by these men.”


* The battle of Gujarat ended the Sikh resistance to the British. On March 11, 1849, the Attariwalas formally surrendered their swords to Major General Gilbert at Hurmuck near Rawalpindi. They were followed on the 14th by the whole Sikh army. On March 29, 1849, a durbar was assembled in the fort. A proclamation was made declaring the kingdom of the Sikhs at an end. Maharaja Dalip Singh handed over the Kohinoor diamond and stepped down from his illustrious father’s throne, never to sit on it again.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 20, 1987