Indian commemoration at Barton on Sea

Wreaths and flowers laid at the memorial.

The annual commemoration at Barton on Sea’s Indian Soldiers’ Memorial took place on Monday.

Civic leaders present included the Mayors of Bournemouth and Christchurch.

The obelisk, near the clifftop, was erected on 10 July 1917 to remember the volunteer Indian troops of the First World War who rested at the Barton Court Hotel and Grand Marine Hotel which had become a convalescent depôt for those discharged from nearby hospitals.

The Barton Court building has largely disappeared with cliff falls leaving a section which is now the row of shops and Post Office.

As many as 1,500 injured and sick Indians were looked after at Barton before returning to the front line.

Sepoy Khudadad Khan was at Barton when it was announced that he had been awarded the Victoria Cross.

The monument is one of only two memorials in the UK to Indian troops and one of the first war memorials to be erected. The funds were raised by the depôt staff.

The annual ceremony is organised by the Friends of the Indian Soldiers Memorial.

The scene at the start of the 2023 commemoration with the Indian flag flying.
Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire Oliver Crosthwaite-Eye.
Author and historian Shrabani Basu, who delivered the address, interviewed by Anjana Gadgil for BBC News.

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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