I was lucky enough to be asked by Empica PR to photograph the opening of the long overdue Sikh War memorial in Castle park today. It was a wonderfully Poignant, colourful and slightly fluid event, but held together but the chaps from the Sikh Armed Services,

The garden and memorial was built to honour the Sikh soldiers that lost their lives in the second and first world war, and was built using money raised by Sikh Temples and Sikh communities in Bristol as well as the Bristol City Council and Bristol Uni. 83,000 Sikh soldiers lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and more than 100,000 who were seriously wounded, and the memorial is a peaceful way to acknowledge their sacrifice.

The Memorial is located next to St Peters Church in Castle Park and is surrounded by beautiful gardens which on a sunny, if slightly chilly day (Hailstones raining down on the Duke of Kent at one point ! ) looked very impressive, filled with visitors in colour traditional dress and Army uniforms.

Most of my work as a photographer in Bristol is fairly controlled, especially when working in the PR and Commercial world, so it was lovely to be working as a Press Photographer in Bristol, working along side other photographers and film crews.

The event was very calm, though once the Duke of Kent arrived, from a photographers point of view, it became a real scrum, ( or bun fight as we call it in the press world ) and any room to shoot nicely composed images disappeared. I spent most of the ceremony crouched between the Lord Mayor ( in full ceremonial robes ) and a sword wielding Sikh Preacher, I got a much closer view of that sword than I intended !

In the Scrum (green Coat)

In the Scrum (green Coat)

The event was concluded at the Marriott Hotel where the Duke of Kent was presented with a Ceremonial Sword. At one point the Duke raised the sword in the air, while I’ll was taking pics. The thought crossed by mind that he was either going to knight me or chop off my head, so at this point, I took a big step back and left…

A selection of pictures below