PLACES
This section provide a UK geographical representation of places of particular interest to Anglo-Sikh History.


Chattri War Memorial

Brighton


Patcham, Brighton

The Chattri, a small domed shaped monument on the Downs near Patcham. During the Great War, many Indian soldiers were treated for their injuries in Brighton.

Those Sikh and Hindu soldiers who did not survive were cremated on the Downs above the town.

In 1921 a memorial to these soldiers, built on the spot where the funeral
pyre had been. It was unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales on 1 February 1921 after which he delivered a speech praising the bravery of Indian soldiers and asking that
"future generations should not forget that our Indian comrades gave their lives in ... a conflict of which the issues were to most of them strange and impersonal".

The memorial, now known as the Chattri, can be seen from parts of the town. It stands as a reminder to the part that was played and the sacrifice that was made by soldiers of the Empire in World War I.


On Sunday 26 June 2000 a commemorative service was held at the Chattri at Patcham for Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died in Brighton during the First World War. The ceremony was attended by over 200 people including World War II Indian veterans from London, members of the Indian Commission, the Patcham Branch of the Royal British Legion. And local people, to witness the wreath laying and to hear the last post sounded.

An inscription in Urdu, Hindi and English says :

"To the memory of all Indian soldiers who gave their lives for their King-Emperor in the Great War, this monument, erected on the site of the funeral pyre where Hindus and Sikhs who died in hospital at Brighton passed through the fire, is in grateful admiration and brotherly affection dedicated"



The text below is from a sign near the memorial:
The Chattri Indian War Memorial
Brighton's War Hospital and Memorial
During the First World War (1914/18) the Indian Army fought on the Western Front with British troops. The Brighton Royal Pavilion, used as a hospital for wounded Indian soldiers, nursed over 4000 patients back to health. The Moslems who died at the hospital were buried at Woking in Surrey, but the Hindus and Sikhs were cremated at this site of funeral pyres sprinkled with symbolic metals, flowers, fruits, grains and spices. The ashes from the pyres were then scattered in the sea.

The Chattri was erected on the site of the cremations in honour of the Indian soldiers who died at the Royal Pavilion war hosputal. Brighton Borough Council jointly funded its construction with the India office, and now maintains the memorial and the land on which it is situated.

The Chattri, designed by Indian architect EC Henriques, is constructed from white Sicilian marble. Around the base there are inscriptions in English and Hindi. At the foot of the stairway, which is in the form of an Indian riverside landing traditionally associated with memorials to the dead, lie three granite slabs covering the three concrete crematory bases.

Even now, officials of the local High Commission and retired British exsevicemen of Brighton, collect once a year to remember the martyrs who died fighting the cause of Kaiser-i-Hind i.e. the British Emperor. One of them was Major Henry Lincoln, a veteran of the 8th Punjab Regiment, who paid his respects at Chattri, Southdowns, on Remembrance Day in 1996. For him it was a real pilgrimage, to reach the Chattri by a Landrover, over a boggy three-mile track to pay homage to his fellow soldiers, who fought with him on the western front of France.


GROSS, Michael 

Chattri
Memorial

ULVANG, Vegard 
Chattri Far View
HOLUM, Dianne 
Chattri Inscription


Source: Brighton Borough Council




 
 
 
 
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