Are you interested in local World War One history?

What do you know about the Indian army medical facilities based in the local area in World War One?

Is it true that in Milton Parish in 1915, the Reverend John Edward Kelsall stated that one third of the population was born in India?

Did you know that the Barton-on-Sea Indian convalescent depot was set up in November 1914 and helped sick and wounded Indian soldiers to recover until March 1916?

The first Indian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry was told of his award whilst he was recuperating at the Barton Depot.

The local residents of Barton and New Milton offered friendship and gifts to the Indian soldiers.

Did you know that some of the trees in Barton Court Road, were planted by Indians soldiers in 1915?

Would you like to know more about the Indian hospitals in Brockenhurst and Bournemouth and the Indian Refitting Depot at Milford on Sea?

What did the WW1 Indian soldiers think of their stay in the New Forest?

How did the local residents and Indian soldiers get on with each other?

The Indian memorial was unveiled in Barton on the 10th of July 1917. It was the first memorial to the WW1 Indian army in the country. It is Grade II listed.

Since 2018 on the 10th of July Barton hosts a memorial service at the monument.

If you would like to know more about this aspect of our local history and our shared cultural history why not join the Friends of the Indian Soldiers Memorial?

The Friends of the Indian Soldiers Memorial are holding their inaugural AGM on Wednesday 28 September being held at the Town Hall.  The meeting starts at 6pm.

Members of the public are invited to attend the AGM, meet the committee, and learn more about the activities of the Friends Group.

Please register your interest in attending to
Sue Larking, FISM Secretary, tele 07889 922344 or email

September Talk

The Milton Heritage Society is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

We have taken the decision to go ahead with this evenings talk at 7.00pm. At the start of the meeting we will have a moments silence as a mark of respect for the late Queen. We will also invite members to share their memories of Her Majesty.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society.

January Talk Update

Sadly, we will not be holding the talk about the history of falconry on Friday 7th January at the church hall.

The reason for this is that an increasing number of our membership have indicated that they have concerns attending a live event in a public hall during the current surge in covid cases.

I have taken the decision to postpone the talk until the 14th of October 2022 when hopefully we will be in a healthier and happier position to hold the talk with a larger audience.

Instead, on Friday 7th January at 7.00pmwe are offering a Zoom only talk given by retired Detective Paul Stickler, on the 1947 Gay Gibson ‘Porthole murder’. Gibson was an actress travelling on a cruise ship from South Africa to Southampton. She went missing from her cabin en route. When the ship docked at Southampton, Hampshire Constabulary investigated. A suspect was arrested and put on trial at Winchester Crown Court. Paul will present the evidence to the audience who will then be asked to decide if the suspect is guilty or not. Paul will then reveal what verdict the Jury arrived at and what happened after the trial.

MHS Members will be e mailed the Zoom link. Non-members are welcome to attend the talk for a £5.00 fee. Please use the website contact page to ask for details on how to access obtain your invitation and pay the visitors fee.

We are still intending to run the next live Milton Heritage Society talk on ‘The Many Lives of Hurst Castle’ presented by the chairman of the friends of Hurst Caste, Mr Roger Walker. That will take place on the 11th of February at 7.00pm at the Church Hall.

The last talk of this season will be held on the 11th of March. It will be given by MHS committee member Steve West who is talking to us about ‘The Golden Age of Smuggling in the Local Area’. Steve poses the question were the smugglers, heroes or villains?

Nick Saunders
Milton Heritage Society

Historic tour of Christchurch Priory monastic grounds.

The next external tour of Christchurch Priory and monastic grounds will take place on Thursday 14 October at 2.30pm. This is the last tour of the season, so if you are interested in finding out more about this ancient Priory, its history, architecture and lovely setting, then this is for you.

The tour lasts approximately 1 ¼ hours, taking visitors to areas that the public does not normally have access to, as well as including the new gargoyles. Tickets are £6, and can be booked via the Priory gift shop (01202 485804). Please book in advance; payment can be made on the day.

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