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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Statue of Sikh soldier unveiled in UK to honour World War heroes

The monument in the Greenhead Park marks the culmination of a project of the Sikh Soldier Organisation

punjab Updated: Dec 05, 2019 09:08 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
         

A statue to honour the role of thousands of Sikh soldiers who fought along with British forces in the two World Wars has been unveiled in the west Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, which has a sizeable Sikh community described as “vibrant”.

The monument in the Greenhead Park marks the culmination of a project of the Sikh Soldier Organisation (SSO), which coordinated donations and other activities of the six-foot bronze statue that cost £65,000 (around Rs 60 lakh). Various local bodies supported the project.

SSO chairman Kalvinder S Bhullar described the artwork as “stunning”, and added: “We’ve accomplished our mission to get the statue put in place and the support we have had has been overwhelming.”

“Huddersfield’s vibrant Sikh community is one of the reasons why the town has been chosen for the perfect location of the statue,” he said.

The SSO said that the closest estimates report that 83,005 Sikhs gave their lives on the battlefields in the two World Wars, with many more wounded.

London mayor Sadiq Khan and others have lent support for a similar memorial to Sikh soldiers in London. A memorial to the Sikh soldiers was unveiled in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire in 2015.