WORK is under way after planning permission was granted to build Scotland’s first permanent memorial to honour the efforts and bravery of the South Asian soldiers who fought and died alongside British troops in the world wars.

The Glasgow memorial will be built on the grounds of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the city's West End.

It will include a chattri (dome) design for the roof and natural stone columns to match the museum’s famous architecture. The final design adopts ideas sent in by more than 100 young people from across Scotland and will have a digital aspect to engage younger generations as part of education visits.

Veterans secretary Keith Brown today said it will play a vital role in “raising awareness of past conflicts and the invaluable contributions” of the four million soldiers from the British Indian Army (BIA).

In the 75th anniversary year of independence for both Pakistan and India, the memorial comes after a six-year campaign by the charity Colourful Heritage which involved consultation, community engagement and multiple follow-ups with Glasgow City Council.

Glasgow Times:

Scotland has a special connection with the BIA through a mainly Indian Muslim contingent from the Punjab called ‘Force K6’, which was a mule transport corps during the Second World War.  Fourteen soldiers from Force K6 died in Scotland while training in harsh conditions with British troops after being evacuated from Dunkirk, with nine of them laid to rest at Kingussie Cemetery.

Keith Brown MSP said: “The people of Scotland owe a considerable debt of gratitude to those who fought and died on our behalf, including those from Commonwealth nations who came to aid this country during its time of need. 

“The bravery and commitment of the British Indian Army was vital in defending the freedoms we enjoy today and deserves recognition. 

“This memorial plays a vital role in raising awareness of past conflicts and the invaluable contributions of the British Indian Army.

“I am delighted that through the work of Colourful Heritage and their memorial working group that these links are being acknowledged and forever more remembered.”

Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader and MSP for Glasgow, added: “Reading aloud in the Scottish Parliament the names of the soldiers who lost their lives was an incredibly poignant moment for me, and I’m proud to have been involved in the campaign for a memorial.

“It has taken a lot longer to get to this stage than I hoped, but I’m thrilled that a permanent memorial has finally got the go-ahead, and I pay tribute to Colourful Heritage, Glasgow City Council and to Scottish Government ministers who have positively engaged with us from the very start.

“A permanent memorial to the soldiers of the BIA who fought alongside British troops is a fitting way to commemorate their forgotten service and sacrifice for generations to come.”