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SIKH TROOPS WAR MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED IN LEICESTER PARK

Leicester Time: SIKH TROOPS WAR MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED IN LEICESTER PARK

People are being invited to gather at Leicester’s Victoria Park this Sunday (October 30), to see the statue of a Sikh soldier being unveiled.

The bronze statue will honour Sikhs who fought for the United Kingdom during the two World Wars and many other conflicts around the world.

Leicester Time: SIKH TROOPS WAR MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED IN LEICESTER PARK
Picture: Provided by Gurinder Singh Mann 
on behalf of the Sikh Troops War Memorial Committee

Although accounting for less than two per cent of the population of British India at the time, Sikhs made up more than 20 per cent of the British Indian Army at the outbreak of hostilities during the Great War. 

Sitting on a granite plinth, the statue will be permanently based on Victoria Park. The statue has been created by artist Taranjit Singh and will complement the existing war memorials in Peace Walk.

The Sikh Troops War Memorial Committee commissioned the statue which has been paid for by donations from Sikh congregations, the wider public and city council community ward funding. It was envisaged by the late Councillor Culdipp Singh Bhatti MBE.

“We are so proud to be unveiling this memorial to honour the sacrifice of all those brave men who travelled thousands of miles to fight for a country that wasn’t their own,” said Ajmer Singh Basra, President of the War Memorial Committee.

“The statue will also serve as a reminder for Sikhs who have made the Leicester their home since the 1950’s.

“This project has been brought to fruition through the hard work and effort by many individuals across Leicestershire and will create a legacy to showcase the sacrifices of the Sikhs on a global stage,” he added.

“The Sikhs, whilst forming a small proportion of the population of Indian Subcontinent, contributed on a major scale to various wars, and notably the First and Second World Wars.“

Commenting on the statue, Piara Singh Clair, Deputy City Mayor, said: “It will provide a fitting tribute alongside other memorials in the park, and a place where people can visit, reflect and remember Sikh soldiers who served in campaigns across the world under the British Crown.

Leicester Time: SIKH TROOPS WAR MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED IN LEICESTER PARK
Picture: Provided by Gurinder Singh Mann 
on behalf of the Sikh Troops War Memorial Committee

“Leicester is a proudly diverse city with a very unique identity made up of many different faiths, cultures and communities. For many decades, the Sikh community has significantly contributed towards the success of our city and I am very pleased that the idea of a Sikh memorial statue – envisaged by the late Councillor Culdipp Singh Bhatti MBE – will be unveiled in Victoria Park on Sunday 30 October,” he added.

“This impressive monument is the reward of many years of hard work, and I would like to thank everyone involved in making it happen, including Gurdwaras, historians, the Sikh congregation and the wider public.”

The unveiling programme will begin at De Montfort Hall between 1pm-3pm on Sunday, October 30, and will include speeches from local dignitaries. The statue will then be formally unveiled at Victoria Park. Everyone is welcome to attend.  

Leicester Time: SIKH TROOPS WAR MEMORIAL TO BE UNVEILED IN LEICESTER PARK