Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics 1845-1849

Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics 1845-1849

Watch the short introductory exhibition film

Anglo Sikh Wars: Battles, Treaties and Relics 1845-1849
On now until 4 June 2017
Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens

For the first time ever, a hidden era of British and Sikh history will be coming alive through a unique exhibition in Leicester. The project will showcase relics that have been 3D modelled and will use augmented reality technology to bring alive the story of the battles and treaties from the Anglo Sikh Wars that took place from 1845 - 1849.

The wars were fought between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company through a number of battles leading to the annexation of the Punjab in 1849. These battles took place in India and Pakistan where the British were led by generals who had fought in many military campaigns, like the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815), whilst the Sikhs were led by remnants of the Sikh Armies created by Maharajah Ranjit Singh (1780-1839).

The exhibition tells the story of the battles through a number of artefacts which were captured by British regiments including swords, manuscripts, paintings and other objects from the battlefields. With the annexation of the Punjab in 1849, Maharaja Duleep Singh became a ward of the British and the famous Kohinoor diamond was prized from the Sikhs as part of the Treaty of Lahore. The Kohinoor was later put on display in the great Exhibition of 1851 in London; a 3D interactive of the diamond will be one of the highlights of the exhibition.

There will also be a parallel display at the University of Leicester from March to April where copies of the London Illustrated News and other publications can be viewed from the period.

The Sikh Museum Initiative is a Leicester based organisation which works with museums, galleries and private collectors to bring Sikh relics and artefacts into the open for the public to see. To find out more, visit www.anglosikhwars.com and www.sikhmuseum.org.uk

Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.


The below events programme complements the exhibition and its key themes. All events take place at Newarke Houses Museum. Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund all the below events are free admission.

We anticipate high demand for the talks programme, so please book your place in advance by visiting the Anglo Sikh Wars website. 

Anglo Sikh Wars: The Military Legacy of British India - Iain Smith, military historian
Thursday 18 May
6pm - 7.30pm
The Anglo Sikh Wars showed the British the fighting prowess of the Sikhs, This was acknowledged by the British commanders and soldiers. After annexation of the Punjab in 1846 many Sikhs were recruited by the British and formed the backbone of the British Indian army. The lecture discusses the transition and how these new regiments were formed. 

Arts and Crafts Session
Wednesday 31 May 
1pm - 3.30pm

Opportunity for children to make paper 3D models of the Golden Temple as well as participating in colouring activities with flags and uniforms from the Anglo Sikh wars. Half term, free event for children of all ages. 

After Annexation: Frontier Defence to the last stand at Saragarhi
Jay-Singh Sohal-Documentary maker and author
Sunday 4 June
1pm - 3pm

After the Anglo-Sikh Wars, Sikhs transitioned within a generation from being the fiercest of British foes to the staunchest of imperial allies. Discover this journey through photographs and accounts of the time how and why Sikhs fought for Britain, from New Delhi to the frontier.

In this engaging talk from journalist and filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal, discover the story of Sikh service and the valiant last stand at Saragarhi in commemoration of the battle's 120th anniversary.

Heritage Lottery Fund