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British History. British Asian Men and Women who have made a difference. Sophia Duleep Singh Indian Princess & Suffragette. Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh. The word maharaja translates into ‘great king’ or ‘high king’.

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british history

British History

British Asian Men and Women

who have made a difference

sophia duleep singh indian princess suffragette
Sophia Duleep SinghIndian Princess & Suffragette
  • Sophia Duleep Singh was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh.
  • The word maharaja translates into ‘great king’ or ‘high king’.
  • Maharaja Duleep Singh was the Maharaja of Punjab in India.
  • When Britain colonised India the young Maharaja was forceably taken away from his mother to Britain to live.
  • Sophia was born in England.
  • The British Government gave Sophia a house to live in near to Hampton Court Palace.

Sophia Duleep Singh

Maharaja Duleep Singh

sophia the suffragette
Sophia the Suffragette
  • The Suffragettes were trying to get the right to vote for women in Britain.
  • Princess Sophia was a passionate supporter of the right to vote for all women whether they were rich or poor.
  • Sophia was an Indian Princess who had a criminal record because she had refused to pay all of her taxes.
  • ‘When the women of England are enfranchised I shall pay my taxes willingly. If I am not a fit person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?’
  • Women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote in Britain in 1928.
noor inayat khan british indian secret agent

NoorInayat Khan was of Indian Muslim heritage.

  • During her life she lived in Russia, France as well as Britain.
  • Noor was fluent in French.
  • Noor wanted to help to defeat Nazi tyranny.
  • She decided to train as a secret agent to help Britain to win the war.
  • She became the first female radio operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France.
NoorInayat KhanBritish Indian Secret Agent
noor inayat khan

Noor was posted to France when it was occupied by the Nazi’s.

  • Her job was to send radio messages back to London.
  • One by one the other agents she was working with were captured by the Nazi’s.
  • Noor continued to risk her life and stayed in Paris because she knew the messages she was sending to London were so important.
  • Noor was betrayed to the Nazi’s and was captured.
  • Noor was interrogated but refused to give any secrets away.
  • She was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp where she was beaten and shot; she was only 30 years old.
  • She was awarded the George Cross for"... acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger."
dadabhai naoroji first south asian member of parliament

DadabhaiNaoroji came to Britain when he was 30 years old because he wanted to tell people how badly Britain was treating India.

  • In 1892 he was elected as a member of Parliament for Central Finsbury, in London.
  • Naoroji was the first Asian MP in Britain.
  • He campaigned about how Britain was ruling India and he provided evidence to show that too much money was being taken out of India and given to Britain.
DadabhaiNaorojifirst South Asian Member of Parliament
cornelia sorabji

Cornelia Sorabji was born in India.

  • In 1889-1893 Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman to ever sit Law exams in Oxford University in Britain.
  • She had to be given special permission to sit the Law exams which she passed but she wasn’t given the qualification because she was a woman.
  • It took nearly 30 years for Cornelia to be given her law degree.
  • Women were not allowed to have a Law degree in Britain until 1920!
  • Cornelia became India’s first female lawyer.
james skinner british army 1788 1841

James Skinner was born in India and had a Scottish father and an Indian mother.

  • James Skinner created two cavalry units for the Indian section of the British Army.
  • These cavalry units were known as the 1st and 2nd Skinner’s Horse.
  • The Skinner’s Horse units were famous for their skill with horses and effective use of weaponry.
  • His regiment ‘Skinner’s Horse’ still exists in the Indian Army today.
  • The regiment is known for its yellow ‘saffron’ coloured uniforms .
  • The soldiers were known as the ‘yellow boys’ because of their uniforms.
James SkinnerBritish Army 1788-1841
sake dean mahomet 1759 1851

Sake Dean Mahomet was born in India and served in the Army for Britain.

  • Sake Dean Mahomet achieved a number of ‘firsts’.
  • In 1793 ‘The Travels of Dean Mahomet’ was published – the first book to be written and published in the English language by someone who was Indian.
  • In 1809 Mahomet became the first person to open an Indian restaurant in the UK. It was called the ‘Hindostanee Coffee House’.
  • Mahomet was also the person who created the English word shampoo from the Indian word ‘champo’ meaning head massage.
Sake Dean Mahomet1759 - 1851
kumar shri ranjitsinhji ranji
Kumar ShriRanjitsinhji (Ranji)
  • Ranji was born in India and came to England to attend university.
  • In 1896, Ranji became the first Indian cricketer to play for England.
  • In 1899 Ranji became the first cricketer to score 3,000 runs in one season, something he achieved again the following year.
  • Ranji is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time
indra lal roy flying ace 1898 1918

IndraLal Roy was the first Indian ‘Flying Ace’.

  • Roy was a fighter pilot during the First World War and flew for the British Royal Flying Corp and the Royal Air Force.
  • A ‘flying ace’ is a pilot who battles and shoots down several enemy aircraft while flying a plane.
  • To qualify as an ‘ace’ pilots have to have win five or more ‘dog fight’ victories; Indra won 10.
  • A ‘dog fight’ is a battle between planes which takes place in the air.
  • Indra died when he was only 19 years old during a ‘dogfight’.
  • He had been in the Air Force for just over one year.
IndraLal Roy‘Flying Ace’1898-1918