The 170th anniversary of the Battle of Ferozeshah will be commemorated with a parade in Wolverhampton this weekend.

The battle, which took place at the village of Ferozeshah in the Punjab in December 1845, was part of the First Anglo Sikh War and saw 694 people killed and 1,721 wounded.

Some 150 members of the Mercian Regiment will be joined by around 80 members of the Sikh community, including re-enactors in traditional uniform, for a parade at the Army Reserve Centre, Wolseley House, Fallings Park, on Saturday (12 December, 2015).

Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Barry Findlay, will be in attendance and said: "I am pleased to have been invited to take part in this event, which will be a joint commemoration of a shared heritage.

"The battle led to the annexation of the Sikh Kingdom, which in turn led to Sikhs serving in the British Indian Army and making a significant contribution to the British war effort in both the First and Second World Wars.

"This also led to many Sikhs coming to the UK, becoming British citizens and playing an important role in our nation's recent history."

The Battle of Ferozeshah was fought on 21 December and 22 December, 1845. The British were led by Sir Hugh Gough and Governor-General Sir Henry Hardinge, while the Sikhs were led by Lal Singh. The British emerged victorious.

During the Battle, The 80th Foot (Staffordshire Volunteers) - which has historic links to the modern Mercian Regiment - distinguished itself by mounting a night attack on the Sikh artillery which turned the course of the battle. Earlier, Colour Sergeant Matthew Kirkland captured the Sikh standard now on display in Lichfield Cathedral.

Lieutenant Colonel Lee Mulholland, Commanding Officer, said: "The battle is commemorated as a Regimental Day for The Mercian Regiment and the Battalion's Colours are marched from the Officers' Mess where they normally reside to the Sergeant's Mess to commemorate the action of Colour Sergeant Kirkland in the battle.

"We are looking forward to both the parade and the reception and meeting with the Sikh community; it should be an excellent occasion."

The parade will take place at the Army Reserve Centre and begins at 11.30am, followed by a reception for invited guests.

  • released: Wednesday 9 December, 2015