The Sikh heroes of two world wars are to be honoured with a £50,000 bronze statue in Huddersfield.

A long quest to install what is thought to be the country’s first memorial to fallen Sikh soldiers is now a reality after it was given the green light by Kirklees Council .

The plan for a statue in Greenhead Park was first mooted in 2012 after months of work behind the scenes but it was scuppered by difficulties with planning policy.

A life size statue of a Sikh soldier could be installed in Greenhead Park

A revived proposal was submitted last April and it has now been given the go-ahead by council chiefs.

A 6ft tall statue will be erected in the Rose Garden, close to the greenhouses and cafe, once the huge sum to pay for it has been raised.

Organisers from the Sikh community say they hope to collect the tens of thousands needed by the end of the year and get the statue installed as soon as possible.

A 6ft tall statue of a Sikh solider, based on this model, is set to be installed in Greenhead Park

Spokesman for the group Tim Bhullar said: “It’s been quite a long story, it’s taken many years to get where we are today.

“We’re absolutely delighted and we do appreciate what Kirklees has actually finalised, giving us a lovely location in the Rose Garden at Greenhead Park .

“A lot of people have worked tirelessly on this – waiting all these years takes a lot of patience.”

Manjit Singh, who launched the first bid for a statue more than six years ago, said he wanted to thank everybody who had given their time to the project.

Plans for a statue of a Sikh soldier in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield

He said he was inspired to start the campaign after listening to his father’s stories from the frontline.

Manjit’s father, Jiwan Singh, was in the Indian Army and was involved in the Allies’ war efforts during the Second World War.

It is thought about 83,000 Sikh soldiers died fighting in the two world wars with a further 109,000 wounded.

“He was on the frontline in Italy and Syria,” said Manjit. “I have read books about it and he used to teach me about it.

“But when I went to a memorial service in Huddersfield in 2010 there was no mention of Sikhs on the plaque.

Members and friends of the Huddersfield Sikh community gather in Greenhead Park at the place where a statue of a Sikh soldier will be installed. Front Tim Bhullar - President of the Sikh soldier organisation.

“I thought it was about time to get some recognition for Sikhs’ contribution.”

Mr Bhullar said the memorial was not just for the Sikh community but for everyone.

He added: “It represents the valuable role Sikhs played in the wars, not only here but in the rest of the world.

“83,000 Sikhs laid down their lives, which is a massive contribution.

“A lot of them went out to war and fought for our freedom and they never came back.

“Just because they were wearing a turban doesn’t mean they didn’t belong to this wonderful country

“Sikhs won a lot of Victoria Crosses from this country for their sacrifices.

“We want people to be educated about the history and to continue to join the armed forces.

“But the statue belongs to everybody – it will be a focal point, we think it will be the only one in Great Britain.”