BIRMINGHAM, UK—A three meter high Bronze made monument of a Sikh soldier named “Lions of the Great War” was unveiled in Birmingham on November 4 to commemorate the first centenary of World War 1. The statue has been installed outside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick, which is the largest Gurdwara in Europe, to recognize the contributions made by the Sikhs in World War I.
Addressing the gathering during the unveiling ceremony of this monument, the UK parliamentarian Preet Gill said the local sculptor Luke Perry had suggested her to work on this project when she was a councilor two and half years ago. “We got together with the community and the council to collaborate and make it happen” she added.
She further said that this statue will serve as a reminder to Sikh soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the defense of democracy.
Thousands of British Sikhs, as well as local leaders and British soldiers, attended the ceremony. In all, 1.5 million Indians fought for Britain in World War I, more than 20% of whom were Sikhs. Many were farmers from Punjab and known as “Black Lions” in the war.
A 3-metre statue of a Sikh soldier has been unveiled in Birmingham, UK to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1. Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Smethwick commissioned the £30,000 work by Black Country sculptor, Luke Perry, which has been paid for by the local Sikh community. pic.twitter.com/VLHb5krgWm
— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) November 4, 2018