The Battle of Saragarhi was a last-stand battle fought before the Tirah Campaign between the British Raj and Afghan tribesmen. On 12 September 1897, an estimated 12,000 – 24,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen were seen near Gogra, at Samana Suk, and around Saragarhi, cutting off Fort Gulistan from Fort Lockhart. The Afghans attacked the outpost of Saragarhi where thousands of them swarmed and surrounded the fort, preparing to assault it. Led by Havildar Ishar Singh, the 21 soldiers in the fort—all of whom were Sikhs—refused to surrender and were wiped out in a last stand. The post was recaptured two days later by another British Indian contingent.
All of the 21 soldiers involved in the battle were posthumously awarded the Indian Order of Merit, which was the highest gallantry award that an Indian soldier could receive at the time. The Indian Army’s 4th battalion of the Sikh Regiment commemorates the battle every year on 12 September, as Saragarhi Day.