Chattri Memorial on the South Downs a place worth visiting.
It was a glorious Sunday! Really a perfect sunny day and I finally got myself organised, so I thought.
For years, I had been planning and wanting to go to that 1 day in the year here in the UK where the Indian soldiers are remembered from WW I.
We are unique here in Brighton. We have the only memorial of this kind in the UK isles. I’m a big one for remember the WW’s and what the cost was. Once a year they hold a memorial service is held at the Chattri Memorial. I found out about it many years ago when the local paper did an article on it. Naturally, I kept it to try and go. Literally, every summer, it would be pulled out. For some reason or another, I couldn’t make it or missed it.
So, this was my year, I am going! I am going to the service at the Chattri memorial. I’d heard it was hard to get to, but when I looked on google maps. It looked very straight forward by bus. (Someone is laughing in google land at me right now.) Let’s just say, it’s no where near the bus stop and I’m pleased that the farmers and their animals did not try to kill me as I made my way in the rough direction and, then, eventual direction of the Memorial.
Key thing is, I made it, not without a few people noticing that I was definitely coming from the wrong direction and having to leap over a fence. I was a bit worse for wear when I arrived, managed to lose my sun glasses, so the farmer did gain something from me.
Still it was beautiful to hear the bag pipes from across the fields see the huge crowd gathering for this very special event. I managed to get there, amazingly just as it really started, but barely.
It was a really nice ceremony. It’s a great spot, even if it’s a bit difficult to get to. Best way to get there is really by car and from the Patcham side, even if you decide to walk, there is a clear path that leads that way, do not come from the other side like I did.
There is a welcome address, prayers & hymns, wreath laying, the last post, 2 minutes silence, the Reveille, the lament, address, reply and closing remarks. We had the Indian High Commissioner doing the address and the Lord Lieutenant doing the reply.
Please don’t tell that farmer it was me who was walking all over his fields. He can keep the sun glasses!
If you want to make it to next year’s memorial celebration, do check out their website at the beginning of June, just click here for more details.
If it’s a sunny day, make sure you bring some water, it gets very hot and it’s not a short ceremony, but definitely worth it.
Arrive early, so you can hear the bag pipes and just take in the whole feel of the event.
While I wasn’t able to make it, there are refreshments afterwards and there they have a Chattri Exhibition.
P.S.: I refused to go back the way I came. I followed the cars and buses and someone took pity on me and drove me down to Patcham, where I was able to catch a bus back into Brighton – phew!
What an awesome adventure!