Crowds gather

Crowds gather at statue honouring Sikh soldiers.

HUNDREDS of people attended the unveiling of a new statute in honour of Sikh soldiers who fought in both World Wars. The six-foot statue in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield, is the first in Yorkshire to honour the sacrifice of British Indian Sikh soldiers, and comes after years of fundraising. The £50,000 monument, which has been funded entirely by public donations and made of Yorkshire stone, depicts a soldier resplendent in full army uniform. The idea was first mentioned in 2010, but it fell by the wayside amid some planning and funding difficulties. The plans were then revived in 2017 when Sikh Soldier Organisation began raising money to fund the statue themselves, before Kirklees Council granted permission for the statue to be erected in the park’s Rose Garden in July 2018. The grand unveiling took place on Saturday and was hosted by the Yorkshire Regiment and supported by charities including the Royal British Legion and The Army Veterans. Dignitaries included the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Mr Edmund Anderson, as a representative for the Queen, Mayor of Kirklees Clr Mumtaz Hussain and Clr Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council. Tim Bhullar, chairman of the Sikh Soldier Organisation, was delighted the statue had finally come to fnrition but said it symbolised more than just the contribution and sacrifice of Sikh soldiers. He added: “We believe that this historic event belongs to all our communities, to all denominations, and is a testament to the dedication and heroism displayed by all our Armed Forces who gave their lives in Europe, in Africa and in the Asian conflicts. “The statue represents the contribution made by not only the Sikh soldiers but those from all over the Commonwealth, who gave their lives fighting in the World Wars for the freedom of Great Britain:’

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