Industrial Heritage Stronghold – The Country’s First Statue Honouring the Battle of Saragarhi

by | May 10, 2022

Industrial Heritage Stronghold reached out to Central Scanning to 3D scan a clay sculpture, by artist Luke Perry, as an emergency backup for the artwork.

When the clay sculpture is complete, the next step is to mould the piece. This involves covering the whole sculpture with many layers of silicone rubber, then covering this with a stone removable jacket. However, this process completely scraps the original clay model so if anything goes wrong, all of the months of hard work and material are lost.

This is where Central Scanning came in. We used the Artec Leo to take a 3D scan of the sculpture in case of an issue. This way, Luke Perry would have the data to be able to reproduce the piece.

Fortunately, the moulding succeeded and Industrial Heritage Stronghold were able to create the 10ft tall sculpture in tribute to 19th Century Sikh soldiers.

The new Saragarhi Monument is the first statue in the country to specifically honour the fallen soldiers. It was unveiled in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton on Sunday 12th September 2021, the anniversary of the Battle of Saragarhi.

Surrender Or Fight

When 21 men of the 36th Sikhs found themselves surrounded by 10,000 hostile Afghan fighters, they had a choice: surrender or fight. They chose the latter and all 21 men died. The statue depicts Havildar Ishar Singh, the officer in charge of the Sikh soldiers.

Sculptor Luke Perry said he believed the statue could be the best he has ever made.

“Each commission that I create is inspired by the people I work with. My inspiration usually comes from the enthusiasm of the brilliant people who the work is about, or those who have drawn my attention to it through their own passion,” he said.

“With artworks like Saragarhi, I want to create sculptures that are a visible marker of the under-represented but vital, real people in our communities because when you represent people you empower them.”

Despite not needing to recreate the sculpture from the 3D scan, the data was still used to 3D print a smaller version of the statue. This was moulded and bronze cast. 10% of the profits for the monument were donated to Action Aid charity for women in need in countries in Asia and South Asia.