During the First World War over one and a half million Indian army soldiers saw active service alongside British troops. Twelve thousand Indian soldiers who were wounded on the Western Front were hospitalised at sites around Brighton, including York Place School, the Dome, the Corn Exchange and the Royal Pavilion
The fifty-three Hindu and Sikh soldiers who died in Brighton were taken to a peaceful resting place on the Sussex Downs near Patcham for cremation, after which their ashes were scattered in the sea. This cremation site is now the location for their memorial. The Chattri, which means umbrella in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, was designed by EC Henriques from Mumbai. The dome and its eight pillars are built from white Sicilian marble and three large granite slabs lie over the original concrete cemetery bases.
The Chattri bears the following inscription in Hindi and English:
‘To the memory of all the 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 the Hindus and Sikhs who died in hospital at Brighton, passed through the fire, is in grateful admiration and brotherly affection dedicated. ‘
Note that The Chattri is not accessible by road, but is reached by a half hour walk across fields