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Issue 41 - Of Sikhs and Scots

Scotland Magazine Issue 41
October 2008


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Of Sikhs and Scots

Anew heritage trail, aimed at highlighting the strong connections between Scotland and India has been launched.

Scotland has a long-established Sikh community which began in colonial India.

The link between Sikhs and Scots is illustrated through the Rattray family whose descendents live in Perthshire. While serving in India, Captain Thomas Rattray was chosen to raise a group of military police to control the lower provinces of Bengal and as a mark of respect, the 3rd Battalion Sikh Regiment was renamed the Rattray Sikhs, and is now part of today’s modern Indian army.

The largely unknown but historical interplay between Sikhs and Scotland is further shown when Maharajah Duleep Singh moved to Britain in 1854 and took up residence at the Grandtully estate in Perthshire, becoming a highly respected member of the society in the process, where he was know locally as the ‘Black Prince of Perthshire.’ In months ahead, the trail will grow through numerous research projects focusing on historic sites and a series of lectures, exhibitions and workshops to highlight Scottish-Sikh connections.