SIKH and Muslim families are needed to help keep alive the memory of forgotten soldiers who died fighting in Britain’s wars.

The Oxford Inventory of the African Mind are set to host their Remembrance and Celebration event on Sunday to commemorate lost soldiers from Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian Subcontinent who fought in the First World War.

Communities will unite at the New Testament Church of God, in Between Towns Road, from 6pm.

Stories are still needed of how people from these backgrounds with tales of how their families helped in past conflicts.

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Chairman of London Road’s Sikh gurdwara Amrik Shergill said: “It’s a good idea. It will be good to remember what people have done in the past. There’s a lot of people that come here and want to know about the Sikhs and who we are and what we did.

“It’s nice to get all the community together.

“We should all work together like what happened in the past.”

Gurdwara member Davinder Singh, 54, said more than 80,000 Sikh soldiers fought and died for Britain in the two world wars.

The father-of-four added: “It’s good to share our stories. We have a moral duty to make people know about us.

“If we don’t share what we stood for and what we stand for, we are the only ones to blame.”

Mr Singh said it was also important for younger generations to recognise the sacrifices soldiers made and to improve community relations.

He added: “I think Britain is a wonderful country where there are people from all over the world. This will bring us together.”

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth and Mr Shergill will speak at the event, along with director of Cowley Road’s Oxford Islamic Information Centre Dr Hojjat Ramzy.

Dr Ramzy said: “It is a little known fact that 400,000 Muslims from present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh fought for Britain during the First World War.

“Of the hundreds of thousands who took part, many lost their lives defending this great country.

“In an age where Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment is on the rise, it is important to recognise that the contribution of Muslims to Great Britain goes back centuries.

“We need to stand together now, people of all faiths and none, to promote peace across the world.”

Event organiser Chaka Artwell needs residents to come forward with stories of their family’s involvement in British wars.

He said: “Our communities need to know that they are here because our ancestors fought and died for their right to be here. I believe that our nation would be a far better place if all our contributions were recognised.”

Young people aged between 14 and 25 will also perform a re-enactment at the event involving Sikh, African and Caribbean soldiers. Residents hoping to share their stories are encouraged to contact Mr Artwell before Sunday.

For more information or to get involved call 07757812449.

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