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Sikh soldier statue in Smethwick honours WW1 dead

Sikh soldier statue in Smethwick honours WW1 dead

A 10ft (3m) statue of a Sikh soldier has been unveiled at Sandwell, Birmingham to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One (WW1).

The bronze work in Smethwick honours service personnel of the Sikh faith as well from the Indian subcontinent who fought for Britain during WW1 and other conflicts.The unveiling of The Lions of the Great War earlier was marked with a parade.

Guru Nanak Gurdwara, which commissioned the statue, said it made them “proud to be Sikh and proud to be British”.The Gurdwara’s president, Jatinder Singh, said: “We are so proud to be unveiling this memorial to honour the sacrifice of all those brave men who traveled thousands of miles to fight for a country that wasn’t their own.”

Sculptor, Mr Luke Perry said: “Great Britain owes much of its greatness to people whose history started in another land.”

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for the nearby Birmingham constituency of Edgbaston, is chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs.

“Despite being small in number in British India, Sikhs played an important part in the War, making up more than a fifth of the British Indian Army,” she said.

“This statue will serve as a reminder to those Sikh soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of democracy and in the fight for freedom.”

The Sikh Museum Initiative has created a small display on “Sikhs in World War 1”, this can be seen at Sandwell Library, High St, Smethwick B66 3AP, near the statue.

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