Pontus Marine

Monday, October 27, 2014

London : Invitation to the fallen Somaliland soldiers remembrance day

  Iman Sheel is a film maker and also a member of Sahan Society Centre and would like to invite all to the Somaliland fallen soldiers remembrance day.

The Ubique at the remembrance corner (photo by Medeshi )

In partnership with Sahan, Iman has produced a documentary called 'The Forgotten Soldiers', which commemorates the forgotten British Somaliland soldiers who fought for Great Britain during the first and the second world wars. Its central feature is the tale of comradeship and friendship between Captain Eric Wilson VC and Sergeant Omar Kujoog of the Somaliland Camel Corps regiment serving to protect the British Somaliland protectorate during the Second World War. Their time together on the battle front forged a bond between the two men and their families which still endures today.

These men have not been given the attention they deserved in any of the official documents and historical literature, many of whom had lost their lives for a country they had not seen and for a King and Queen they had never heard of. The role of British Somalilanders in both the wars and, indeed, the Falklands war, is largely unknown and so Iman and Sahan have taken it  to research and create the documentary in the memory of their struggles, contributions and achievements.

Last year, Sahan Centre had organised a small Remembrance day gathering to commemorate,  honour and pay respects to the members of the armed forces, those from the Somaliland  in particular, who passed away to serve the cause of the British Empire. This was the first ever gathering of its kind and was attended by several members of the Somaliland community in London along with dignitaries from the Somaliland Government. The gathering was a successful one and the centre intends in organising a similar gathering again this year.

People of British Somaliland descent living in the UK will gather at the Constitutional Hill Memorial Gates on Remembrance Sunday this year which falls on the 9th of November 2014. The venue is significant because in November 2002, The Queen officially inaugurated the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill in London, UK and invited Eric Wilson VC, his son Hamish Wilson (Director of Degmo) and Saleban Kujoog, the son of Sergeant Omar Kujoog.

The gathering is a significant landmark and a turning point in the history of British Somaliland heritage in the UK for several reasons. Their stories have never been mentioned in any of the official documents and transcripts in Britain despite Somalis being one of the first African communities to have lived in Britain.

It also offers the British public a greater and better understanding of the contributions made by these men during the war with the hope of appreciating their bravery and valuable contributions. It will benefit in particular,  people of British Somaliland descent that currently live in the UK ; feel disenfranchised and marginalised from the wider community and are confused with their identity and sense of allegiance.

The Remembrance Service will be attended by British and Somaliland diplomats, war veterans, dignitaries and various members of the British Somaliland communities in Britain.

Date : Sunday Nov 9, 2014
Time : 1:00 pm
Venue : Constitutional Hill, by the road that leads from Buckingham Palace to Hyde Park Corner, London.
Nearest station is Hyde Park corner
For further information , please contact Iman Sheel at : info@sahancentre.org.uk

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