PTE. BUKUM SINGH, the first Sikh to enlist with an Ontario battalion has been twice wounded since he went to the front. He was engaged as a farm hand for W. H. Moore, of Rosebank Ont., when the call came for active service. He was reported injured for the first time two months ago. His name appears among the wounded in to-day's list. Bukum Singh came to Canada from Punjab in 1907. After mining in British Columbia he came to Toronto about two years ago. He went overseas with a Kingston battalion.

The Toronto Daily Star Aug 9, 1916

view original page

 

     


Buckam Singh's name was spelled in a variety of ways during his lifetime :

1) Buk Am Singh - Attestation papers
2) Bukam Singh - Signature on attestation
3) Buckm S. - Medical report
4) Bukum Singh - Toronto Daily Star
5) Buckam Singh - Signature on discharge
6) Bukkan Singh - Gravestone
7) B. A. Singh - Victory medal

For the sake of consistancy this website uses Buckam Singh, the spelling he used in his last known signature.

 
 


     

View a detailed chronology of Buckam Singh's life.
timeline
 
 


The story of one of the first Sikh Canadian WWI soldiers has been uncovered with the recent discovery of his Victory medal. Learn about the tale of a once forgotten war hero and early Canadian pioneer.

Buckam Singh came to B.C. from Punjab in 1907 at age 14 and eventually moved to Toronto in 1912/1913. He enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the spring of 1915. He's one of the earliest known Sikhs living in Ontario at the time as well as one of only 9 Sikhs that we know of that served with Canadian troops in WWI.

Private Buckam Singh served with the 20th Canadian Infantry Battalion in the battlefields of Flanders during 1916. Here this brave hero was wounded twice in two separate battles. One of the interesting discoveries included the fact that after being shot Private Buckam Singh received treatment at a hospital run by one of Canada's most famous soldier poets the Doctor Lt. Colonel John McCrae.

While recovering from his wounds in England Private Buckam Singh contracted tuberculosis and spent his final days in a Kitchener Ontario military hospital, dying at age 25 in 1919. His grave in Kitchener Ontario is the only known WWI Sikh Canadian Soldier’s grave in Canada. While he never got to see his family again and died forgotten almost 90 years ago, his heroic story is now being reclaimed and celebrated

Annual Sikh Remembrance Day Ceremony


Learn about the extraordinary life of Buckam Singh by exploring the following sections of the website


Early Life
Learn about the early life of Buckam Singh in Punjab, the land of five rivers.

Canada
Buckam Singh represents the first wave of Sikh immigrants to Canada. Learn about Sikh pioneers in Canada and Ontario.

Patriot
Canada joins the Great War and Buckam Singh eagerly enlists with an Ontario regiment and is shipped overseas.

Flanders Fields
Canada becomes a nation on the battlefields of France and Belgium. Follow Buckam Singh in combat at Mount Sorrel and the Somme.

England
Shipped to England and a series of Canadian hospitals, Buckam Singh recovers from his injuries and prepares to return to battle in France.

The Last Battle
Buckam Singh faces his greatest personal challenge and returns home to Canada.

A New Beginning
Almost a century later the long forgotten story of this Sikh Canadian pioneer is retold and celebrated