'Lions of the Great War': Monument to honour South Asian soldiers

A 10-foot high bronze statue of a First World War Sikh soldier will be built on Smethwick High Street to commemorate 100 years since the end of the conflict.

The ‘Lions of the Great War’ monument will honour the sacrifices made by the millions of South Asian service personnel who fought for Britain in the two world wars.

The majority of these soldiers never visited the country they were fighting for, yet many gave their lives on the battlefield.

The statue will stand on a six-foot plinth with inscriptions that name the regiments in which soldiers served.

“I am very proud that Smethwick – a place where many people from the Indian subcontinent have made their home – is paying such a striking tribute to the very important role played by South Asian service personnel during times of conflict. "I hope this contributes to the growing recognition of the sacrifices that servicemen from Commonwealth countries have made for our country.”

Sandwell Council leader Councillor Steve Eling