The UK’s first national Sikh memorial in honour of those who fought during the Great War will be unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on November 1. The memorial is the first of its kind and a statue commemorating the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the war will be unveiled in a […]
The UK’s first national Sikh memorial in honour of those who fought during the Great War will be unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire on November 1.
The memorial is the first of its kind and a statue commemorating the 130,000 Sikh soldiers who fought in the war will be unveiled in a ceremony.
More than 200 people from across different faiths and backgrounds contributed from £1 (around Rs 100) to £1,000 to fund the memorial. According to the portal, a total of 153 backers pledged £22,685 to help bring this project to life.
The charities founder and chairman Jay Singh-Sohal says: “It is a tremendous achievement for Sikhs to be able to finally have a national monument in honour of the bravery and sacrifice of our forebears. For far too long the contribution of those from India to the war effort has been overlooked but now young people have a symbol of remembrance which they can visit at the National Memorial Arboretum and which will inspire people from all backgrounds well into the future.”
The Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt MP said “Sikh Service personnel have served with great distinction in the British Armed Forces. We recognise their outstanding contribution, and the strong link with the British Armed Forces which continues to this day. As Minister for the Armed Forces, I am grateful for all that they have accomplished; their incredible efforts have helped to build a better world for future generations. Defence recognises that our people are our most important asset; we will continue to do all that we can to ensure that our Services reflect British society, and that we recruit individuals from all communities including the Sikh community.”
The memorials patron, Peter Singh Virdee from the Virdee Foundation, says: “The sacrifice of Sikhs who’ve served Great Britain will surely never be forgotten, now that this community initiative has led to the creation of a permanent national memorial at the centre of remembrance in our country.
Sir Francis Richards, chairman Imperial War Museums, says: “The memorial will be a fitting tribute to the sacrifice made by Sikh servicemen during the First World War and can only serve to increase awareness and appreciation of the Sikh contribution to British military history. Most importantly, it will ensure that we remember in perpetuity those Sikhs who gave their lives in Britain’s defence.”
The unveiling event will include speeches from dignitaries, a British Army band and re-enactment troop.
The memorial will be sanctified with a traditional Sikh prayer and a minutes silence held to remember all who have fought for Great Britain.
~ Source: Times Of India
The monument will undoubtedly inspire future generations to follow in the footsteps of their forebears and contribute great things to our society.
Salute the Real Bravehearts of the Nation!