Huddersfield’s drill hall was the venue of a community day of remembrance which paid special tribute to the role of Sikh soldiers during the World Wars.
Organised by Tim Bhullar of the Sikh Soldier Organisation, the event was attended by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson as well as civic dignitaries including the Mayor of Kirklees Councillor Masood Ahmed and the leader of Kirklees Council, Coun Shabir Pandor.
“The drill hall is an iconic building and a powerful symbol of the community’s long-standing support for the military that dates back generations,” said Mr Bhullar.
“That’s why we chose it as the perfect place to welcome people from across Huddersfield and the wider Metropolitan Kirklees Borough to collectively reflect upon service to the Armed Forces, both past and present, during the National Period of Remembrance.
“We were delighted that so many people from across the area chose to join us and that we had the chance to showcase the historic role of Sikh soldiers as well as those from other parts of the Commonwealth.”
During the event, military historian Tony McClenaghan gave an engaging presentation about the role of Sikh and Commonwealth soldiers in the Great War and more recently. Tejpal Singh attended to represent the UK Punjab Heritage Association alongside representatives of the Caribbean and Gurka military communities.
The drill hall is one of 650-plus reserve and cadet buildings in the region managed by the RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber.
“Huddersfield Drill Hall is one of the most historic Army Reserve Centres in Yorkshire and it demands an on-going programme of upkeep to ensure it remains a great base for soldiers to train,” said the RFCA head of estates Ian Hardbattle.
Serving the town
“Over the years the expansive, wood-lined roof has posed recurrent problems with leaks. But every year we put aside considerable funds to ensure we keep on top of the problem and ensure this beautiful venue is watertight.
“It is wonderful to see the Drill Hall playing its rightful role at the centre of the Huddersfield community and I couldn’t be happier that we’ve managed to keep such a landmark building in shape so it can continue to serve the town to well.”