An important outcome of the mutiny, as far as the Sikhs were concerned, was that service in the armed forces was thrown open to them, and they became the most sought after recruits for the British army. To make soldiering an honorable profession, only Jat Sikhs were enlisted. The most important decision taken, and one which had a far-reaching effect in preserving the separate identity of the Sikhs, was to assure the Sikhs who joined the army that the tradition of the Khalsa would not be interfered with.

It is interesting to note that British officer Hudson borrowed his first 100 Sikhs from the Maharaja of Jind. He then raised three cavalareries from the disbanded units of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. This was the origin of what later became famous ‘as “Hudson Horse”. Because of their red turbans and kummerbands or their khaki uniforms, Hudson Horse came to be known as “The Flamingos”. The names of Brasyer, Rothney, and’ Rattray came to be attached to Sikh units. Sikh soldiers proved their fighting quality and loyalty in the subsequent wars on the side of the British. Of the martial races the favorite of the English officers were the Sikhs and Gurkhas.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 10, 1987