Bahadur Singh Landa

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THE family of Bahadur Singh Landa, who arrived in England in 1952 and has died aged 80, had been forced to flee their ancestral home by the violence that accompanied the partition of India in 1947.

He was 20 when he arrived, leaving behind his young wife Surjit Kaur, as the family faced a bleak future, already traumatised by forced relocation and mourning many lost friends and relatives.

He headed to Leeds, where a relative already lived, setting up as a door-to-door peddler selling clothing from a suitcase.

Charismatic and hard working, he quickly gained a base of regular customers which provided him with the wherewithal to set up a shop on Roundhay Road in the Harehills district of Leeds, one of the first Sikh-owned businesses in the city.

The entrepreneurial spirit which so characterised him was evident when he diversified, turning it into a plumbing and electrical retail business known as BGT Centre.

Respected for his ethical principles, Mr Landa was a devout Sikh who believed in helping others and was actively involved in supporting Sikh community charities.

He and Surjit brought up nine children, with the importance they attached to education seeing them qualify for the professions, so that the family now includes doctors, engineers, and legal and financial experts.

His wife died four years ago, and he died on the anniversary of her death. The previous day, he told a grandson that she had visited him in a dream and told him it was time for him to join her.

He died after his daily evening prayers.

He is survived by his children Bimbal Kaur, Amrit Kaur, Simbal Kaur, Santokh Kaur, Satnam Kaur, Naseeb Kaur, Gurbaksh Singh, Tajinder Singh and Raj Kaur, and by 39 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild, born two days before he died.