We are now half way through the campaign to create a WW1 Sikh Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Before an update on the campaign so far, I’d like to thank all those who send messages of support via private message and on social media. Here is one I’d like to share:
“Just contributed to your great idea for a Sikh WW1 memorial, I very much hope this will happen. I just wanted to commend you and thank you and the sikhs@war team for the work you have done in your project. It is a really important subject and is vital for future generations.”
The campaign has been going well, it started many months ago with strategy discussions, coalition building and research into whether a memorial was necessary. We decided to press ahead because there is an overwhelming desire to create a legacy of remembrance. We’ve continued our work behind the scenes by meeting with interested donors and businessmen, building dialogue with supporters and Sikh organisations and engaging with the media. It’s a lot of hard work for us volunteers.
In particular I’ve been raising awareness of the project in the mainstream by appearing in national media including BBC, Sikh Channel, Arise News and BFBS Forces TV. This is all with the aim of encouraging more donors to step forward and support our efforts.
I’ve said we – the spark to create this memorial came from me but this is a project backed and progressed by serving Sikhs in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, who recognise the significance of a memorial and what it will mean for future generations of British Sikhs.
So far just over 30 people have stepped forward to donate to the campaign, including one patron. The funds we have gathered take us a third of the way to our target – but more needs to be done to hit the full amount. If we do not raise the requisite £20,000 needed we will not get a penny that has been pledged and this project will wilt away. So I urge you not just to donate what you can but share the campaign with friends and family and encourage them to donate too.
The project has been fully costed, and we’re lucky to be working with a very talented sculptor on the grand design. To the left is a busk created by Mark ?. The concept we have been working with him on is one which depicts the image of the Sikh soldier in all his glory – with proud turban and uncut beard symbolising the spirit and physical form of the Khalsa. We’d like your thoughts on the design and we continue to work to perfect the memorial.
Finally, this is an open and accessible project. The memorial, once funded, will be organised by a charity which will be set up to administer it. This is not an individual vanity project but one for the good of the community. I urge you to ask on this forum any questions you like about the memorial with the aim of better educating yourself about our work and intentions. We are heritage enthusiasts not politicians!
I end with a thanks in advance for supporting the memorial campaign, and any efforts you can put in to ensure this much needed project happens.