The India Gate

It was decided to erect a new gateway to the Royal Pavilion grounds from the south as a permanent memorial in Brighton to the use of various buildings in the town for Indian soldiers wounded in the First World War. Read More »

The India Gate is a gift from the people of India to the inhabitants of Brighton and Hove as a thank you for caring for HER “SONS”. It was unveiled on the 26 October 1921 by H.H. the Maharaja of Patiala.

The inscription reads:

“This gateway is the gift of India in commemoration of her sons who – stricken in the Great War – were tended in the Pavilion in 1914 and 1915. Dedicated to the use of the inhabitants of the Brighton, B.N. Southall, Mayor”.

In replying His Highness said. “For many of those who had returned to India he had heard expressions of fervent gratitude for the attention and care lavished upon them by ‘Doctor. Brighton’, whose fame and skill as a healer and health restorer were talked of in many hundreds of remote Indian villages.”

The inscription has now faded and was replace by a wooden plaque in 2007.

On the 26th October 2011 for the first time in 90 years a memorial service was held at the India gate to mark the 90th anniversary of the unveiling,

In total the undivided India Army provided 1.27 million men to fight in Europe during the Great War.  Over 12,000 Indian soldiers and 1,500 followers returned to “Doctor Brighton”.

Many buildings in the town were converted and specially adapted for the wounded Indian soldiers, including the Royal Pavilion, The Dome, Corn Exchange, Brighton General Hospital, and York Place School.

Further Information visit

http://www.black-history.org.uk/indian.asp

http://www.black-history.org.uk/pavilionindian.asp

a video of the history of India in Brighton

War Graves Commission unveils new Indian memorial

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Video Transcript

This is the plaque that was replaced, but if you look at either side you can see the original inscription on the wall.  The Pavilion is only the popular one. There was Brighton General hospital which was the largest Indian hospital outside India.  They had nine kitchens in the Brighton General; also they had nine kitchens here. The nine kitchens were to cater for the different religions. You couldn’t have a Muslim cooking for a Hindu, or vice versa.

The washing facilities at the Pavilion and at Brighton General had two taps on each sink: one for the Hindus and Sikhs, and one for the Muslims.  All the toilets were converted into the squat position suitable for the Indian soldiers.  The beds that they had in England were too small for the Indian soldiers, because when the British recruited the Indian soldiers, they recruited a lot of Sikhs, and they recruited Sikhs because while the British were in India the Sikhs were a pain in the … a pain to them, so when war was declared they used the Sikhs who were warriors to come over to England to fight the war.

Every religious rite was respected.  The Sikhs had a praying tent that was situated in the grounds of the Pavilion. The Hindus used to pray in the basement of the Dome, and the Muslims were allowed to pray in front of the Pavilion because that was facing East. The arrangement that the King made with the Indian government was that we would respect your religion if you fight for us.

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