Over the Years


Watch film footage of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad,
religious leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community visits
the Chattri & Royal Pavilion in 1924.

Although a full time caretaker had been appointed by the town of Brighton with a cottage constructed near the monument in 1923 , with the death of the caretaker a few years later, the grounds and monument fell into a period of neglect that would last decades. With complains to the Imperial War Graves Commission and the India Office, the town of Brighton would undertake a series of infrequent and sporadic maintenance initiatives for a period of time before the memorial again fell into a state of neglect.

On September 18, 1932 the first public memorial service since the 1921 opening was organized and attended by veterans and public officials. During WWII the surrounding area became a military training ground and by the end of the war the memorial was is bad shape with cracks and pitted rifle bullet holes. The War Office derequisitioned the property in 1946 and agreed to carry out repairs to the Chattri.

The local British Legion veterans than began a annual remembrance service with prayers and wreath laying at the Chattri memorial in the last week of June starting in 1951 and the service continued annually until 1999. By this time the Legion no longer could keep the service going, citing old age and declining numbers. Hearing of this a local Sikh teacher Davinder Singh Dhillon took over the stewardship of the remembrance ceremonies, involving the public, politicians, as well as a Britains large South Asian population and it’s military veterans to reinvigorate the event and increase its popularity. Under his stewardship as the chairman of the Chattri Memorial Group, the remembrance ceremonies have been held annually since 2000.

References

Tom Donovan, The Chattri, Durbar, Journal of the Indian Military Historical Society (Summer 2009, Volume 26, No. 2, UK) 53-65