Leamington and Warwick communities gather for screening of film honouring forgotten heroes

More than 300 people attended.
More than 300 gathered at Kings High School's hall in Warwick on February 4 for a screening of the acclaimed short film "The Sikh Soldier."  Photos suppliedMore than 300 gathered at Kings High School's hall in Warwick on February 4 for a screening of the acclaimed short film "The Sikh Soldier."  Photos supplied
More than 300 gathered at Kings High School's hall in Warwick on February 4 for a screening of the acclaimed short film "The Sikh Soldier." Photos supplied

Members of the Leamington and Warwick communities recently gathered for a screening of a short film honouring forgotten heroes.

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More than 300 people attended the event at Kings High School in Warwick on February 4, for the short film "The Sikh Soldier".

More than 300 people attended the event including Warwickshire's Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff, as   well as the Chairman of WDC, Lord Mayor of Coventry, the Town Mayors of Warwick and Leamington as well as other civic and local dignitaries. Photo suppliedMore than 300 people attended the event including Warwickshire's Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff, as   well as the Chairman of WDC, Lord Mayor of Coventry, the Town Mayors of Warwick and Leamington as well as other civic and local dignitaries. Photo supplied
More than 300 people attended the event including Warwickshire's Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff, as well as the Chairman of WDC, Lord Mayor of Coventry, the Town Mayors of Warwick and Leamington as well as other civic and local dignitaries. Photo supplied

Amongst the audience were Warwickshire's Lord Lieutenant, as well as the chairman of Warwick District Council, Lord Mayor of Coventry, the town mayors of Warwick and Leamington and other dignitaries.

Organised and co-funded by the Gursewak Trust and the Sikh Heritage Association Warwick and Leamington (SHAWL), the film is about the story of a Sikh soldier fighting in the brutal trenches of the Great War.

Baljinder Singh Rai, chair of SHAWL, said: "The film is more than just a historical portrayal, "The Sikh Soldier" aims to shed light on the often-overlooked contributions of Indian soldiers, particularly Sikhs, in both World Wars.

"The film poignantly highlights the immense sacrifices made by this community, with a staggering 83,000 Sikhs losing their lives and over 100,000 wounded during these conflicts.”

The filmmakers Sky Cheema and Joe Archer talking at the event. Photo suppliedThe filmmakers Sky Cheema and Joe Archer talking at the event. Photo supplied
The filmmakers Sky Cheema and Joe Archer talking at the event. Photo supplied

The film created over three years by midlands filmmakers Joe Archer and Sky Cheema and it has received a nomination for Best Short Film of the Year 2023.

The screening served as a powerful reminder of the bravery and resilience of the Sikh community, sparking important conversations about historical recognition and representation.

Educationalists who attended spoke of the film as an important resource to form part of teaching in secondary schools. SHAWL is discussing how this suggestion can be taken forward together with further public screenings.

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