Lessons about shared history

WWI HERO: Warrant Officer Shah Ahmed VC.
WWI HERO: Warrant Officer Shah Ahmed VC.

Maddrassah pupils from a Mosque in Dewsbury Moor got ready to commemorate the Remembrance weekend by taking part in a special history lesson.

Children from the Faizan-E-Madina Jamia Mosque used the theme of remembrance to look at the role of their great-grandparents in World War One.

As part of their lesson “Different Sacrifices”, pupils studying at the Pilgrim Estate Mosque and Maddrassah school learned about the sacrifices made by Muslim soldiers from the British-Indian Army during the First World War.

They looked at the “Our Shared History, Our Shared Heritage” exhibition on the British-Indian Army.

They learned about the life of Subedar (Warrant Officer) Shah Ahmad Khan VC – a front-line soldier whose regiment was stationed in Mesopotamia (which is the present country of Iraq).

Subedar Shah Ahmad Khan bravely held off an attack launched by the Turks in 1916 on his machine-gun post. The rest of his comrades had been killed by heavy enemy rifle fire.

Shah Ahmad Khan stayed behind firing at the enemy for three hours until he was ordered to retreat by his commanding officers. He returned with an injured comrade.

Zamir Ahmed, chairman of the Faizan-E-Madina Jamia Mosque, said: “This lesson has helped our pupils to learn they have a shared history. They need to understand their great-grandparents had just as much of an important role to play during the First World War as the ancestors of children from the white English-speaking communities.”