|Famous For||Being portrayed by Akshay Kumar in the film 'Kesari' (2019)
|Unit/Regiment||36th Sikh Regiment|
|Awards, Honours||Indian Order of Merit Class III (posthumously)|
|Date of Birth||Not Known|
|Birthplace||Jagraon tehsil, Ludhiana district, Punjab|
|Date of Death||12 September 1897|
|Place of Death||Tirah, North-West Frontier Province, British India (now Pakistan)|
|Age (at the time of death)||Not Known|
|Zodiac sign/Sun sign||Sagittarius|
|Hometown||Jagraon tehsil, Ludhiana district, Punjab|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status (at the time of death)||Married|
|Marriage Place||Jagraon, Ludhiana district, Punjab|
|Wife/Spouse||Name Not Known|
|Parents||Names Not Known|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Ishar Singh
- Ishar was born into an agricultural family of Ludhiana.
- He always wanted to be a soldier and joined the Punjab Frontier Force when he was around 18 years old.
- He spent the majority of his life on the battlefield under regimental number 165. He was drafted in the 36th Sikhs Regiment soon after it was raised in 1887.
- According to British historian Major General James Lunt,
Ishar Singh was a somewhat turbulent character whose independent nature had brought him more than once into conflict with his military superiors. Thus, Ishar Singh —in camp, a nuisance, in the field magnificent.”
- In August 1897, 5 companies of the 36th Sikhs lead by Lt. Col. John Haughton were sent to the North West Frontier Province and positioned at Samana Hills, Kurag, Sangar, Sahtop Dhar, and Saragarhi.
- A contingent of the 21 Sikhs under Havildar Ishar Singh was positioned at Saragarhi. The Saragarhi post, located on a rocky ridge, is a small village in the border district of Kohat, now in Pakistan. This post was a communication post between Fort Lockhart and Fort Gulistan and was often targeted by the Afghans and Orakzai tribesmen; as it was a key communication post.
- On 12 September 1897, at around 9:00 am, Gurmukh Singh, a signalman of the regiment, signalled to Lieutenant Colonel John Haughton that around 6,000 to 10,000 Afghans are heading towards the Fort Lockhart, however, Haughton couldn’t do much; as he himself was sieged, and therefore, wasn’t able to send any additional forces.
- Even though there was no realistic way to even give a fight, Havildar Ishar Singh and his troop chose to fight the “Battle of Saragarhi” to death. All the 21 Sikhs fought their hearts out and killed around 200 Afghans before they succumb to their injuries.
- The 21 Sikh soldiers fought around 8 hours, without food and water. Even when they ran out of ammunition, they didn’t stop and ended in a hand-to-hand fight till their last breath.
- After Havildar Ishar Singh’s death, his wife was killed by his brother, who was imprisoned at Kala Pani (Andaman and Nicobar).
- Two Saragarhi Memorial Gurudwaras, one in Ferozepur and the other one in Amritsar, was made to honour the 21 Sikh soldiers who belonged to the 36th Sikh Regiment.
- Every year, 12 September is celebrated as the “Saragarhi Day” in honour of the 21 brave Sikh soldiers.
- After him, nobody from his family joined the Army due to various reasons.
- There have been a number of biopics on Havildar Ishar Singh. The most popular among them is the film ‘Kesari’ (2019), where Akshay Kumar portrayed his role.
- People often confuse Havildar Ishar Singh with Captain Isher Singh who was a soldier in the British Indian Army.