Council-backed memorial to troops from the Royal Indian Army Service Corps’s Force K6 nominated for national award

A Highland Council supported memorial to the men of Force K6 (Indian Contingent) in Kingussie was nominated for an award at the Scottish Asian and Business Awards 2022.

The local authority provided match-funding through the Place Based Investment Programme to help deliver the Force K6 Memorial in Gynack Gardens, Kingussie. It was formally unveiled at a ceremony in the Badenoch town in September this year.

The monument project was nominated, along with six others, in The Bashir Ahmed Community Initiative of the Year category.

The awards took place at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on 19 December and the Kingussie memorial just missed out with Boots and Beards from Glasgow winning the category.

The nominees for the Bashir Ahmed Community Initiative of the Year were:

  • The Indian Contingent – Force K6 Memorial, (Gynack Gardens, Kingussie)
  • Collective Connect (Glasgow)
  • Ubuntu Scotland (Glasgow)
  • Majid Haq & Qasim Sheikh (Paisley/Glasgow)
  • Boots and Beards (Glasgow) - Winner
  • The Sufi Festival (Glasgow)
  • Colourful Heritage (Glasgow)

The project to provide a lasting memorial to the men of Force K6 was spearheaded by Kingussie’s Am Fasgadh Regeneration Company (ARC), led by local facilitator, Mrs Heather Taylor (also a Major in HQ Army Scotland and HQ 51st Infantry Division).

On the stone’s inscription, tribute is paid to the 14 members (13 Muslim and 1 Hindu) of Force K6 who were stationed and all of whom died in Scotland.

The stone also recognises Kingussie-native Isobel Harling (99), a recipient of the British Empire Medal (BEM) who served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during the war, and who tended their graves for over 70 years. Her brother died after being shot down over Leuven, Belgium during World War II.

Chair of Highland Council’s Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee, Cllr Bill Lobban, said: “Although the Force K6 project didn’t win the category it was fantastic to see ARC’s hard work recognised with a nomination.

“The nomination once again highlights this fantastic tribute to the men of Force K6 and their incredible story. I hope it encourages more people to visit not only the monument and Kingussie itself, but the wider Badenoch and Strathspey area.”

Am Fasgadh Project Facilitator, Mrs Heather Taylor, said: “ARC Kingussie is absolutely delighted and honoured to be nominated by the South-East Asian community for this prestigious Award. There’s still more to do as we promote the memorial to visitors to Cairngorm National Park, helping share the story of Isobel, Force K6 and Kingussie to a worldwide audience.”

She added: “The Badenoch Storylands charity has also been promoting Force K6’s story. The registered charity promotes tourism through local culture and heritage attractions.

“The Badenoch Storylands Project is a good example of how communities can promote their Living Heritage by providing immersive experiences for visitors which will leave them with unforgettable memories of time in Cairngorm National Park.”

29 Dec 2022