The Pavilion Gardens' India Gate (or Indian Gate) is a Gujarati-styled stone gateway between the Gardens and Pavilion Buildings. It was donated to the Town as a gesture of thanks for the care given to Indian servicemen during World War One, during which the Pavilion was famously used as a hospital.
The India Gate was ceremonially opened in October 1921 by Bhupinder Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala (who was one of the main donors).
This is distinct from the Chattri, a dedicated memorial to commemorate the Indian soldiers who died in the Great War, which overlooks Patcham, and was unveiled in February of the same year.
Brighton had a number of sites pressed into service for medical care of "Empire" soldiers, the idea being that dedicated sites would make it easier to allow the dietary and cultural requirements of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh service personnel to be properly attended to (and an apparent suggestion that the Pavilion's Eastern-inspired architecture might make some of the convalescents feel more at home during their stay).
Stone inscription nearby
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
The India Gate is supposed to have been designed by Thomas Tyrwhitt RIBA (1874-1956), Tyrwhitt did some architectural work in South Africa and Hong Kong, and at the time had a London-based practice, and had just done some small works for the Ministry of Agriculture.
The South Gate (1851-1921)
The previous South Gate consisted of a pair of smaller squat-onion-domed four-pillared pedestrian entranceways, flanking a comparatively low pair of iron gates that could be swung open to allow horses and carriages to pass.
The South Lodge (1831-1851)
The 1851 South Gate was built after the Commissioners acquired the estate in 1850, and replaced a yet earlier South Lodge that existed when the estate was private, and which was demolished after the acquisition.
- South Gate: a gift to the city in 1921 (mybrightonandhove.org.uk)
- Unveiling of the Indian Gate, 26th October 1921 (brightonmuseums.org.uk)
- Remembrance > Indian Memorial Gateway (sikhmuseum.com)
- How Brighton Pavilion became a temporary hospital for Indian soldiers in WW1 (telegraph.co.uk)
- Indian soldiers in East Sussex (eastsussexww1.org.uk)
- 1921 – The Royal Pavilion Gate-way – A gift (black-history.org.uk)
- Brighton during World War 1 (india1914.com)
- 2014: Wreath laying ceremony to remember WW1 Indian soldiers (brighton-hove.gov.uk)
- 2016: Subedar Mir Dast "Blue Plaque" ceremony (www.chattri.org)