Stephen Barker is an independent museum consultant and historian specialising in work relating to the First World War and British Civil Wars. During his research he came across a story that had never been told before and began to research what would become his second book. The Flying Sikh tells the unique story of Flying Officer Hardit Singh Malik, the only Sikh airman to fly with the RFC and the RAF during the First World War. This book tells the remarkable account of one man’s struggle to enlist, while fighting against discrimination, and then his service as a fighter pilot over the battlefields of Flanders.
The Flying Sikh is the only detailed study of an Indian national enlisting in Britain’s armed forces during the First World War. It is also an account of India’s role in the war, looking at the rise of Indian nationalism and at the challenges which confronted Indians who wanted to take up the status of a commissioned officer in His Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Stephen Barker has run successful projects for the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, and the Battlefields Trust, and has worked for several universities, charities and other organizations, designing exhibitions and making funding applications. He will be joining Lucinda Hawksley on 21 October for the Goldster Inside Story.
For this Inside Story Lucinda Hawksley will be chatting to Stephen Barker, author of The Flying Sikh, the unique story of Flying Officer Hardit Singh Malik, the only Sikh airman to fly with the RFC and the RAF during WW1. Come along to discover the remarkable account of one man’s struggle to enlist – while fighting against discrimination – and of his service as a fighter pilot.