Something else for the weekend

Charles Cowling

Here’s a lovely story about how they did things in a braver and more beautiful age. The occasion is the unveiling of a memorial on Patcham Down to the 53 Indian soldiers who died in the first world war. It stands just yards (metres for younger readers) from the Chattri Memorial, which stands on the site of the ghat on which the bodies of those soldiers who died in the hospital in Brighton Pavilion (made available to the Indian soldiers because it would remind them of home) were ceremonially burned on a proper pyre.

All this happened ninety years ago. It has taken ninety years of progress and multiculturalism to produce a Home Secretary, Jack “Man Of” Straw, with the liberality to greet renewed calls for open-air cremation with the humane and progressive retort that people would be “upset and offended” and “find it abhorrent that human remains were being burnt in this way”. What is the rudest thing you can think of saying about anybody? Mutter it now.

I can’t whet your appetite with pics cos they’re all copyrighted. So here’s the signpost to lots of happy info and a Flickr site: Go!

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