Canada consul general remembers Sikhs who died fighting for Canada

The consul general of Canada, Scot Slessor, on Sunday started a tradition of 'Remembrance Day Ceremony' or the Poppy Day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of the Armed Forces who have died in the line of duty.

Scot Slessor on Sunday said, "We are starting the tradition here in India and especially in Punjab as there were many Sikh leaders who lost their lives while fighting for Canada in World War I. From now on, it will be a tradition that the Canadian Consulate will celebrate".

He mentioned the name of a soldier, Private Buckam Singh, who is regularly saluted by senior military staff during Remembrance Day events. He is a testament to the many people, from all corners of the world, who have come to Canada and joined in the common pursuit of justice and the rule of law.

Bal Gosal, Minister of State for Sports, Canada, unveiled the plaque with details of the ceremony which is being conducted annually at Private Buckam's grave since 2010. "It is because of this stone that we have come to know his story," said the sports minister.

"Despite being forgotten for ninety years and never getting to see his family again, he is now being celebrated as a Sikh Canadian hero," he added.

Buckham Singh was one of the earliest known Sikhs living in Ontario as well as one of only nine Sikhs known to have served with the Canadian Army in World War I. Private Buckam died in Ontario, far from his birthplace in 1919 at age 25 in a community that did not know the funeral rights of Sikhs.

His grave in Kitchener is the only known First World War Sikh Canadian soldier's grave in Canada.

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