Post Event Press Release: Attorney General pays tribute to Sikhs who fought during World Wars
Monday 13th December 2010, HM Attorney General, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP joined filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal at the Official Launch of the new documentary ‘Sikhs@War’.
Screened at the Houses of Parliament the film pays tribute to the memory of Sikh soldiers who fought for Great Britain during the Great War.
Speaking about the event, HM Attorney General, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP expressed his admiration for the brave Sikhs: “Their selfless service deserves the widest recognition. It has helped us in Britain enjoy the freedom we have today.”
Birmingham based filmmaker and television journalist Jay Singh-Sohal described the launch in Parliament as a momentous occasion: “For a senior government official to pay such a tribute is a sign of how important the Sikh contribution has historically been and how vital this vibrant community still is in all walks of British life.”
The Attorney General was presented a Sikh ceremonial Kirpan by the filmmaker Jay Singh-Sohal and co-host Cllr Santokh Singh Chhokar who described the occasion as a “landmark event highlighting the Sikh tradition within British military history.”
More than 100,000 Sikh soldiers from South Asia fought on the Western front during the Great War alone. The film narrates their story for the first time by following a young teenager retracing his Great Grandfathers footsteps in the trenches of Flanders.
Jaspal Singh, 15, is inspired by his forefather’s actions during the War to maintain his own Sikh identity (uncut hair and turban) despite being bullied because of it. From his hometown of Coventry to Ypres and Neuve Chapelle, Jaspal discovers the important role Sikh soldiers played during the conflict in stopping the German advance over Europe.
The event brought together members of the Sikh community alongside politicians, serving military personnel, multi-faith community and business leaders.
Following the success of Sikh@War, further film projects on the subject matter will be produced and also released online.
For press and PR enquiries, contact Hardeep Gill at Dot Hyphen Productions:
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Stills and Footage:
Stills images from the Official Launch event and moving/audio footage from the film are available upon request, credited to “Jastinder Singh Kudhail.”
Footage from the website and YouTube can only be used with express permission from the filmmaker.
Notes to Editors:
The film is available to view online as a free educational resource so young people from all backgrounds can view and learn about this forgotten part of British history. It is available at www.sikhsatwar.info .