Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Young Adult Nonfiction Military & Wars

Duty, Honour & Izzat

From Golden Fields to Crimson - Punjab's Brothers in arms in Flanders

by (author) Steven Purewal

illustrated by Claude St. Aubin & Christopher Rawlins

Renegade Arts Entertainment
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
Military & Wars, Prejudice & Racism, History
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 11 to 13
  • Grade: 6 to 8


Why are certain histories covered, discussed and inquired about, while others remain hidden? Going beyond the old tropes of colonised histories, this book presents the Indo-Canadian community's pioneer experience within the events leading to the ejection of the Komagata Maru from Canadian waters in July 1914 and the subsequent outbreak of the Great War in August 1914. A great book to introduce Canadian youth to a more inclusive look at our history.

Presented as a historical scrapbook with beautifully realised, photo-realistic artwork. Framing the history is a graphic novel story about a teenage boy, in Surrey BC, caught up in drug gangs. He rethinks his choices after his 95 year old great-grandfather comes to visit the family in Canada. His stories of their past, and seeing him reunited with a Canadian soldier his great grandfather saved during WW2, opens up a different path to live his life.

About the authors

Steven is a community historian, curator and managing director of Indus Media Foundation, a registered non-profit society based in the Lower Mainland that seeks to foster an appreciation for Punjabi culture within the wider community. Steven has curated and produced the Duty, Honour & Izzat a WW1 Centennial commemoration exhibition that defines South Asian contributions to the Great War. Steven's work has been featured at The National War Museum, provincial museums, municipal venues and the Prime Minister's Reception for the Komagata Maru Apology in Ottawa. Steven has also designed and installed permanent exhibits at the Government House British Columbia and the British Columbia Legislature. Steven's unique narratives reconcile histories and inspire Canadians to come together to celebrate the diversity of people, the achievements and events that have shaped the country. Steven lives in Surrey with his wife and three children.

Steven Purewal's profile page

Artist Claude St-Aubin was born in Mathieson, Ontario, of French Canadian parents. He spent his teen and young adult years in Montreal, going on to illustrate titles for DC, Marvel on characters including Supergirl, REBELs. and and Aquaman. He is also the artist for The Loxleys series and for Mandi Kujawa's Jacqueline the Singing Crow.

Claude St. Aubin's profile page

Christopher Rawlins' profile page

Editorial Reviews

"It has been said that in the history of the hunt, the hunter has always told the story of the lion. Between 1914 and 1918 nearly 500,000 turban-wearing soldiers from the Punjab Province of British India served to deliver the freedoms we enjoy today, only to have their images scrubbed from the pages of history by their colonizers. Duty, Honour & Izzat restores those pages in glorious colour and sweeps you through multiple layers of a heroic narrative and a battlefield of emotions. By its end, and after 100 years, I had finally heard the black lion's roar!" - Pardeep Singh Nagra, Executive Director, Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada

"[A]n extremely well thought-out and researched book [...] As a whole, Duty, Honour & Izzat shares the untold history of an entire army which was a major player in one of the greatest wars in history. This is something that Punjabis should be proud of, and it's a history that everyone should know about." - Josh Rose, Rogues Portal

"A powerful reminder, or perhaps lesson, that Sikh soldiers were proud members of the British Empire, just like their comrades from Canada and that the First World War was a multicultural war as were Canadian victories at Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele and Cambrai." - Rob Alexander, Rocky Mountain Outlook

"Should be a part of the school will infuse pride and a sense of future and commitment for the well being of Canada." - Mota Singh Jheeta, President of Federation of Sikh Societies

"I want to read the book again and again. Also, I want others like me to read the book as well!" - Gurpal Johal - Student, Vancouver

"Providing a comprehensive look at the British Indian Army's participation and contributions to World War I, this highly engaging Canadian work combines a fictional graphic novel-style story with primary sources, quotations, and an array of visuals including photographs and art work." - Focused Education Resources

"Duty, Honour, Izzat has been a life-changing book - my personal outlook on Canadian identity has been changed for the better. Growing up as a young kid with a turban I had always felt a disconnect to my identity as a Canadian. After reading Duty, Honour, Izzat, my self-perception on Canadian identity has transformed. Learning many of our forefathers had fought so hard and selflessly for the country we are so blessed to live in, has helped create a deeper and stronger connection with my country and ultimately my culture and heritage. I highly recommend all my peers and the younger generation to read this book, it will reveal truths that many individuals never had the slightest clue about and help ultimately connect us to our roots and finally help transform what it truly means to be a Canadian." - Prabh Tiwana (Kids Play) - Surrey

Other titles by

Related lists