Canberra: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today presented the Man Singh Trophy, a prized possession of Sikh regiment battalions, to his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott at the War Memorial here to commemorate his visit.
In his first engagement in the Australian capital, Modi, accompanied by Abbott, arrived at the War Memorial early morning. Modi arrived here last night on the third leg of his four-city tour of Australia from Sydney on a special Air India plane.
Modi presented the trophy to Abbott and also signed the visitor's book at the memorial. The trophy originally in silver was presented to the Officers' Mess 14 (King George's own) Sikhs in the year 1919. The officers of the battalion, who served in the unit during the First World War in Egypt, Gallipoli, Sinai and Mesopotamia from October 1914 to May 1917, had made it in commemoration of the gallant actions of their soldiers during the First World War.
The Trophy is named after Man Singh who was recognised as a great soldier for his qualities of character, professional skill, sheer physical prowess and agility. Approximately 6 feet and 4 inches tall, Singh was said to be so strong of limbs that he was able to jump over high wire obstacles and broad ditches comfortably.
This was part of trench warfare during the First World War. It is also said that he could lob a grenade up to a distance of 50 yards.
The trophy has some peculiarities like the shoes worn by Singh appear to be on the wrong feet, the satchel on his back is hanging with one strap only, in place of grenades, cans of condensed milk are seen in the trenches and the bolt of the rifle is in the unlocked position.
The trophy was presented to the Sikh Regiment Centre by 1 Sikh (now 4 MECH INF) on completion of 125 years of its glorious service.
All the Sikh regiment battalions also have a replica of this trophy in Bronze, a possession they are proud of.