Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 06 August 2010

How Brighton’s Royal Pavilion Once Became An Indian Military Hospital

Visitors are flocking to a new exhibition at Brighton's historic Royal Pavilion. The exhibition charting the Royal Pavilion's remarkable role as an Indian Military Hospital during World War One opened earlier this year.
Brighton Royal Pavilion As An Indian Military Hospital –

The new permanent gallery highlights how more than 4,000 Indian soldiers, who were fighting under British command on the Western Front in France and Flanders, were treated at the Royal Pavilion between 1914 and 1916.

Opulent public rooms in the royal palace, such as the Banqueting Room and Music Room, were transformed into wards and the Great Kitchen was even used as an operating theatre.

The soldiers were amazed at being cared for in such grand surroundings. One wrote to a friend back in India: "Our hospital is in the place where the King used to have his throne. The men in the hospital are tended like flowers."

The Royal Pavilion is the former seaside residence of King George IV and owned and run by Brighton & Hove City Council.



Councillor David Smith, the council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, said: "The exhibition provides an insight into this fascinating and - until now - often forgotten chapter from the pavilion's past and we are delighted it is attracting so many people.

"We have welcomed visitors from across this country and abroad, including relatives of some of the British orderlies and Indian Medical Service personnel who served in the Royal Pavilion when it was a military hospital."


Archive photographs, paintings, contemporary accounts and newsreel bring the story to life, along with exhibits such as a Gurkha knife, Lee Enfield rifle, transcripts of letters sent home by the soldiers, a ward menu discovered under the floorboards, and hookah pipe found discarded in the grounds.

Cllr Smith added: "With more people 'staycationing' in Britain, and a weak pound attracting more foreign visitors, we are expecting the increase in visitor numbers to continue during the summer."


The Royal Pavilion as a Military Hospital is a permanent exhibition, for more information visit www.brighton-hove-pavilion.org.uk or ring 03000 290902.

Brighton & Hove residents can enjoy half-price admission to the Pavilion with up to four accompanying children free (bring proof of residency, one item required per adult eg council tax or other utility bill.)


by: Mike Cobley




Share    


Well-known Brighton-based designer Claire Potter has joined other top upcycling, fashion and craft bloggers to take part in Emmaus's national Second Hand Santa challenge, which will show people how to make the most out of Christmas on a budget.
Pic by Sam Shaw

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018 focuses on the work of Mozart - each biennial edition of the competition will focus on a different composer or era. 

Brighton Festival's Your Place - two weekends of free entertainment in Hangleton and East Brighton, is set to return for 2018 following last year's inaugural programme.
Pic by Toby Smedley

Veteran Brighton-based actor Ian Kelsey has enjoyed an almost three-decade long career on both stage and screen, Kelsey is now turning his focus on photography; a hobby from his teens that is now consuming his working life.

Reading the wonderful new Ronnie Lane oral biography, Can You Show Me A Dream?, it would be easy for the reader to be left with the impression that Ronnie's life cycle had been a wild journey with a sad ending. But for Ronnie the journey hadn't ended. The letter had left the envelope, that's all.

The stand-up Jon Richardson is chatting from a rather unusual location. He reveals that,“I'm currently in the Aldi car park in Clevedon.” Who said that the life of a comedian isn't non-stop glamour?
Pic by John Morgan

The music of much-loved Belfast singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy is being celebrated with a new release Raving for Bap by Brighton-based ravers, The Raving Beauties; all profits going to Belfast's Marie Curie Hospice

You know the story and have probably seen the films, now Brighton Rock is back and this time it's a stage adaptation that features a soundtrack composed by the acclaimed singer, musician and composer Hannah Peel.

Straight off the back of a string of summer gigs and festivals up and down the country, The RPMs return with a bigger sound and a new focus.
Pic by Phil Nicholls www.philnicholls.co.uk

UK-based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid's new album, If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous, muses on mortality, but it's by no means all gloom. 

On the back of last weekend's gig at Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, in Brighton, Jordan Allen are releasing new single and firm live favourite, R.O.S.I.E.

Jim White gets around. When he's not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction.

To mark 150 years as a performance venue, Brighton Dome is seeking memories from across its rich history. Submissions will help inform new heritage displays which will go on show when the refurbished buildings re-open in late 2018.

Paloma Faith – one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double platinum in the UK – has released her fourth album, The Architect.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd