Walk - ESCC
During the First World War thousands of Indian
troops were mobilised to fight in various theatres. Some of
them were unfortunate to be moved from their original deployment
as reserves in Egypt to the front line on the Western Front.
They were ill equipped for such a struggle, and casualties
were enormous. The wounded who survived the journey across
the Channel, were treated in various centres on the South
Coast of England - a number of them in the Royal Pavilion
in Brighton. The Hindus and Sikhs who died there, and in other
local hospitals used for the purpose, were cremated on the
hill behind Patcham (the Muslim dead were taken to a Mosque
in Woking). In 1921, to commemorate these poor men’s
ultimate sacrifice for the British Empire, the government
erected a memorial chattri, a domed structure on pillars,
at the spot they were cremated.
The latest guided walk organised by the East Sussex County
Council takes you up Ditchling Beacon and past the Chattri.
The route then skirts the A27, and takes you over the crest
of another hill to Stanmer Park, past Stanmer House, and into
Stanmer village before turning back across the ridge and along
the South Downs Way to your starting point. You are advised
to take a packed lunch and a flask of coffee. It’s a
fairly strenuous walk, so wear sensible footwear and a waterproof