During the First World War, the Indian soliders played a vital role. They contributed the most number of troops to the British cause. By the end of 1914, they made up almost a third of the British Expeditionary Force.
However, all this fierce fighting meant that the Indians suffered numerous casualties. The army needed urgent medical facilities, so Brighton was converted into a site for emergency hospitals for injured soldiers.
The Royal Pavilion was the first Indian hospital to be opened in Brighton. The once palace was re-renovated in under 2 weeks. 600 beds were set up in new wards .After 1914, over the following year, over 2,300 Indian patients were treated.
To respect their patients, the Pavilion had a system to respect all the cultural and religious differences. Muslim and Hindus had seperate places to pray,and there were over 9 kitchens to cook accordingly for the different ethnicities.
After the Indian soldiers were called to fight in the Middle East, the Royal Pavilion slowly closed. However, it was reopened in April 1916 as a hospital for British amputees. It also acted as a rehabilitation centre for the soldiers.
The Pavilion treated over 6,000 patients from 1916-1919. It finally returned to the people of Brighton in 1920. As it was quite worn down, some of the recompense money from the War Office went to repairing it.