An iconic Sikh memorial in Wednesfield is set to educate generations to come thanks to a longstanding partnership between an esteemed sculptor and local galvanizing firm.
The Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Wednesfield commissioned local Artist Sculptor, Luke Perry, to craft the memorial to commemorate the Battle of Saragarhi. The piece portrays an imposing 10ft bronze cast Sikh Soldier mounted upon a six-foot granite plinth, which is engraved in both Punjabi and English to ensure all individuals can appreciate the significance of this cultural symbol.
Luke said: “I’m incredibly passionate about creating public artworks that accurately reflect the character and history of the communities they represent, and this was certainly demonstrated in this exciting project. As one of the most significant moments in the history of Sikh culture, The Battle of Saragarhi deserves greater visibility in British history, and I’m proud to play a role in the positive movement to alter this with my artwork.
“As the first of its kind in the UK to give a voice to a subject long overdue its recognition, it was paramount to ensure it would possess a lengthy legacy. And so, I sent the memorial to long-time partners Edward Howell Galvanizers to ensure it would be protected against the elements for generations, and be as physically strong and permanent as the statement it makes.”
The piece was hot dipped into a bath of molten zinc at temperatures around 450C to allow for a metallurgic bonding to coat the steel, which provides protection for up to 70 years from rust and corrosion.
“Having worked with the team at Edward Howell Galvanizers for over a decade, I can always rely on them to dedicate due care and attention, achieve the finest quality, and treat my artwork with the utmost respect,” Luke continued.
The striking monument with its eight-metre steel backplate stands in Well Lane in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton, and was unveiled on the 12th September 2021 on Saragarhi Day – the anniversary of one of the greatest last stands in history – which is commemorated annually by the Indian Army’s 4th Battalion of the Sikh Regiment.
Jim Lindsay, Sales Manager at Edward Howell Galvanizers, added: “Luke is a fantastic individual who combines his passion for art and engineering to deliver a unique way of bringing our local heritage and history to life. It was a pleasure to collaborate with him on this latest piece, and we’re delighted to have played a part in making history.”
The Battle of Saragarhi was fought on 12th September 1897. 21 Sikh Soldiers of the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Army – and one Muslim Non-Combatant believed to be a British Army cook – held off 10,000 Afghan Tribesmen in the fort of Saragarhi.
Edward Howell Galvanizers is part of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with a history dating back over 150 years. With 14 plants strategically placed across the country, the firm offers a truly national galvanizing service.
By Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd