The national WW1 Sikh Memorial statue commemorates the 130,000 Sikh men who took part in the war. More than 150 people pledged over £22,000 to pay for it.Sikhs made up 20% of the British Indian Army in action, despite being just 1% of the Indian population at the time, the WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund said.
The founder and chairman of the charity, Jay Singh-Sohal, said some Sikhs left their towns and villages for the first time “to venture abroad to fight for Great Britain” and “made a contribution when Britain itself didn’t have the troops”.Describing the memorial, he said: “It’s got a large turban, long flowing beard, very much the image of a Sikh soldier from that period.
“[It has] the look and feel of a Sikh solider with the uniform and the medal that they would have been eligible for and would have won as a result of their service.”
The memorial at Alrewas was sanctified with a traditional Sikh prayer and a minute’s silence was held to remember all who fought for Great Britain. The statue was funded through a campaign by the WW1 Sikh Memorial Fund on the Kickstarter website.