This year’s Blackburn Darwen Council supported Community Cohesion Award was won by the Commemoration of the Jullundur Brigade Project.

This innovative series of events and projects aimed to highlight the shared history of Indian soldiers (Hindu’s, Muslims and Sikhs) who fought and died alongside their British Army comrades during some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

It was organised by The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in partnership with Lancashire County Council Heritage Learning Team.

The project saw a multi-faith commemoration of the centenary of the first deployment of the Jullundur Brigade at the Indian Army Memorial in France, which was attended by more than 120 soldiers, 90 school children, 30 Army cadets and local religious leaders.

Following that visit, 850 children from primary schools attended a conference in Preston where they learnt about the Brigade.

The children then worked on a project, to research, write and design a teacher's resource book, to be used across the UK, about the role of the Jullundur Brigade and the wider Indian Army during World War One.


Brigadier Peter Rafferty MBE, Colonel of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, said, “I speak for all members of the Jullundur Brigade team when I say how humbled and honoured we all feel at the recognition that we have received tonight.

“Our Jullundur Project, was a commemoration of the part played by our forebears in the Jullundur Brigade of the Indian Army during WW1. Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians fought and died, alongside one another, in the common cause of peace and freedom. These soldiers from the First World War are the people who really deserve this award”.

"The configuration of the Jullundur Brigade, encompassing British, Indian and now Pakistani successor Regiments, as well as the multi-cultural complexion of the Brigade, represents a microcosm of society in the NW today: this is what makes our project so special and so pertinent. Especially, as we are the Infantry Regiment of the NW of England.

"Since the days of the Jullundur Brigade a significant number of British citizens, of Indian and Pakistani origin, have settled in our Regimental area; some may have had relatives of older generations who fought in the Brigade; these “golden threads,” represent today, as then, the very strength of our shared Commonwealth heritage.

"We value the support of our partners in the Lancashire CC Heritage Learning Team since they have helped us to capture the educational aspects of an episode in our Regimental history, in which British and Commonwealth soldiers, stood together for the common good.

"Their e-learning Jullundur resource, to be made available to primary schools nationally, from late July 2015, will mean that the Jullundur Brigade story will endure and be learnt about in schools for years to come."