New Milton Town Council is pleased to announce that they are planning a commemorative occasion at the Indian Army Obelisk on Tuesday 10th July 2018. The heritage of the monument is very important, having been recently re-designated with a grade II listed building, and being one of the only two freestanding Indian Army Memorials in Britain.
The Obelisk, funded by donations from staff at the Barton Convalescent Hospital, was erected on 10th July 1917 by local company H. Drew’s builders and stands in tribute to the contribution of the Indian Army in World War 1. An information board will be installed depicting historical background and images, and the Indian Deputy High Commissioner will be invited to unveil it on 10 July 2018. Visitors and residents will be amazed at this piece of our forgotten history which will now be extolled for all to see and remember.
New Milton Town Councillor Goff Beck, who has always maintained a keen interest in the Indian Memorial, said;
“I am so pleased with Historic England’s decision to upgrade the Indian Obelisk to Grade 2 status. It is such an important part of our local heritage which was in great danger of being forgotten. It is imperative that the committed support the British Government received from the Indian and other Empire Governments during the Great War is not forgotten. I am further pleased to note that New Milton Town Council have included the 10th July in their civic diary.”
There are two inscriptions on the monument, one is English and the other is a translation in Urdu-
This Memorial is erected to commemorate the establishment at Barton on Sea
in 1914 of the Convalescent Depot for Indian Troops
who fought in Europe during the Great War
and was subscribed for by members of the staff.
This event will see representatives from the Indian High Commission, Sikh Council Hampshire, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, local school representatives and generous donors assemble for a brief service and wreath-laying at the Memorial and then invited to view an exhibition of historical documents and images compiled by Nick Saunders, Chairman of Milton Heritage Society. Further history can be found at http://miltonheritagesociety.co.uk/chapters/milton-in-the-wars/the-war-memorial-at-barton-on-sea
The Sikh Council Hampshire have been working closely with New Milton Town Council in arranging this event following a visit from Harjab Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council Hampshire, accompanied by Harmeet Singh Brar, when they attended the Indian Memorial on 11 November 2017 to lay a wreath on Remembrance Day.
Harmeet Singh Brar said;
“This special monument from the people of New Milton to remember the soldiers from India in World War One is absolutely an amazing tribute. New Milton welcomed them with open arms and made them feel at home. The commemorative event on July 10th 2018 is a fantastic time for us to come together again.”
New Milton Town Council
Tel: 01425 619120
5 June 2018