The Friends of the Indian Soldiers in the New Forest is a group that is dedicated to preserving the Indian memorial obelisk in Barton on Sea. It also seeks to research and promote the history of the Indian army hospitals in Barton on Sea and the wider New Forest and Bournemouth area.
On 10th July each year there is a ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the Indian memorial obelisk. The Friends Group works with the local council to ensure the event is a continuing success.
The military attachés from the Indian and Pakistani High Commissions are invited. The event is well attended by Indian community groups from Hampshire and Dorset, schools and youth groups, and local residents.The Group also seeks to preserve the memory of the Indian soldiers who died of wounds or illness whilst recovering in the New Forest and Bournemouth hospitals. Their important contribution to the war effort should not be forgotten.
The remit of The Friends Group also includes exhibiting information locally for the benefit of the residents of Barton on Sea and the wider New Forest area. The Group actively promotes the history of the Indian Army in the New Forest to a wide audience, including the Indian communities in the UK, schools and other interested groups. They are also researching the names and background stories of the Indian soldiers who died locally.