Tag Archives: Umi Sinha

Indian Soldiers in Brighton & Hove in WWI talk- Shoreham Wordfest

Indian soldiers talk - Wordfest

This evening!

An event to celebrate Black History Month

Presented by Creative Director of Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage Nicola Benge about the period of history around Indian Soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in WWI and also in conversation with author and teacher Umi Sinha, who will read and discuss extracts from her novel, ‘Belonging’.

This will be followed by a live Q+A with speakers.

Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives, but history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices.

This hour-long illustrated talk (from both fact and fiction perspectives) explores how the presence of Indian Soldiers hospitalised at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton between 1915- 1916 impacted on the city and the soldiers themselves during the First World War and beyond.

Monday 8th October 7.30pm at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.

Tickets available for £6: https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/events/indian-soldiers-in-ww1-nicola-benge/

This event is part of Shoreham Wordfest

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Strike a Light Indian Soldiers in WWI talk – 8th October

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An event to celebrate Black History Month

Nicola Benge – Creative Director of Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will be speaking at Shoreham Wordfest next week about the period of history around Indian Soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in WWI.

This will be an hour long talk with images including a conversation with writer Umi Sinha, followed by a live Q+A.

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Monday 8th October 7.30pm at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.

Tickets available for £6: http://www.shorehamwordfest.com/

Presented by Creative Director of Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage – Nicola Benge about the period of history around Indian Soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in WWI and also in conversation with author and teacher Umi Sinha, who will read and discuss extracts from her novel, ‘Belonging’.
Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives, but history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices.
 
This hour-long illustrated talk (from both fact and fiction perspectives) explores how the presence of Indian Soldiers hospitalised at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton between 1915- 1916 impacted on the city and the soldiers themselves during the First World War and beyond.
 
Find out more about all the great events taking place at Shoreham Wordfest 2018 here: http://www.shorehamwordfest.com/

Dr Blighty event at Jubilee Library

IMG_2859 (2)Strike a Light in partnership with Nutkhut and Brighton and Hove Libraries Service hosted a lunchtime event today at Jubilee Library.

We were pleased to invite Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra of Nutkhut and author Umi Sinha to discuss the Dr Blighty project currently taking place in the city during Brighton Festival, alongside the novel Belonging, both of which explore the theme of Indian Soldiers in Brighton during WWI and colonialism during that time and beyond. It was an interesting and rich experience with in-depth historical information and thoughts on this period of Britain and India’s past.

We had a full house, followed up the event with an audience Q+A and followed this with chai from the library cafe and a book signing!

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Dr Blighty lunchtime talk in Brighton Festival

Come join us this Thursday for a free lunchtime heritage and literary event for the Dr Blighty Indian Soldiers project, part of Brighton Festival.

This is a lunchtime event. Feel free to bring your own lunch, and Temptations cafe in the library will also be open for lunches and refreshments. They will serve a specially made Indian Chai drink to accompany the event.

Thursday 12th May 12-1.30pm, Jubilee Library, Jubilee Square, Brighton

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Dr Blighty Brighton Festival lunchtime event (Free) –

The event includes:

* A talk with Artistic Director of Nutkhut, Ajay Chhabra who discusses Dr Blighty, an ambitious new project inspired by an untold story of the First World War, remembering an unexpected episode in Brighton’s history when the Royal Pavilion Estate became a military hospital for wounded Indian soldiers.

* Author of new novel Belonging, Umi Sinha will read from her book chronicling the darkest days of the British Raj to the aftermath of the First World War. The story is a compelling and finely wrought epic of love and loss, of race and ethnicity, of homeland – and of belonging.

* Q&A session with event audience and speakers

* This will be followed by an author book signing – copies of her new book will be available at the event, or bring your own copy. All welcome!

With thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support.

(with thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support)

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Dr Blighty Brighton Festival lunchtime event (Free)

Strike a Light is organising this free lunchtime event for the Dr Blighty project, Brighton on Thursday 12th May 12-1.30pm (with thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support)

Poster DB-2Dr Blighty Brighton Festival lunchtime event (Free) –

Talk and Q & A with Artistic Director of Nutkhut, Ajay Chhaabra who discusses Dr Blighty, an ambitious new project inspired by an untold story of the First World War, remembering an unexpected episode in Brighton’s history when the Royal Pavilion Estate became a military hospital for wounded Indian soldiers.

Author of new novel Belonging, Umi Sinha will read from the book moving from the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War. The story is a compelling and finely wrought epic of love and loss, of race and ethnicity, of homeland – and of belonging.

This will be followed by an author book signing.

All welcome

Free, Jubilee Library, 12-1.30pm
Thursday 12th May 2015

This is a lunchtime event and the library cafe will be open for lunches and refreshments at the same time.

This month – Conversation Cafe with Gateways to First World War and author Douglas D’Enno

We’re hosting a Conversations Cafe with not one but two speakers this month!

The session takes place on Wednesday 13th April at Jubilee Library 2.30-4.30pm. Free to all. 

belongingWe’ll be starting a new book, a novel by local author Umi Sinha called Belonging, provided by the Brighton and Hove Libraries Service. From the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, BELONGING tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.’

v0_largeWe’ll be welcoming Dr Sam Carroll of the Gateways to WWI project who will talk about the breadth of this project, and discuss aspects of their activities and experiences alongside discussions about the Great War.

Gateways to the First World War is a centre for public engagement with the First World War centenary funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The aim of the Gateways team is to encourage and support public interest in the centenary of the First World War through a range of events and activities such as open days and study days, advice on access to materials and expertise, and signposting for other resources and forms of support.

We will also be meeting historian Douglas d’Enno, a historian, linguist and journalist who has made an exhaustive study of the impact of the First World War on Brigdownloadhton. Douglas is the author of new book, Brighton in the Great War and writes: ‘Although the impact of the Great War on Brighton was profound in many ways, the town was spared any direct attack by the enemy. The fear of spies and sabotage, however, was widespread at first and aliens were an issue which had to be swiftly resolved under new legislation. Allies, of course, were warmly welcomed, with accommodation soon being found in particular for those fleeing the catastrophic events in Belgium.’

Sessions are part of the World War I focussed Boys on the Plaque project and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Conversation Cafe updates

2016-03-09 14.39.40Thank you to those who attended our Conversations Cafe session this week. We hosted a session viewing the amazingly drawn diorama of the first day of the battle of the Somme (1st July 1916) by cartoonist Joe Sacco. There is a fascinating 6 minute short about it which you can view here. It is available in the graphic novel section of Jubilee Library and I urge you to look at it. It’s so long that our whole group held each section of it!

The main theme though of our session this month was with the very well-informed Stoolball England officer Anita Broad, discussing all things related to this Sussex based sport and its’ link to World War I and rehabilitation. Anita discussed the rich history of stoolball from its early origins, via the Victorians and WWI through to the present day. The traditional Sussex sport of stoolball, which originated in Medieval times, is still played enthusiastically across Sussex today. However, during the First World War the game was reinvigorated as an opportunity to continue the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

2016-03-09 15.01.34Traditionally a rural village women’s game, stoolball played a significant part in the rehabilitation of soldiers injured in WWI. The eccentric Sussex landowner Maj. W W Grantham of Barcombe and Chailey was solely responsible for the promotion of the sport nationally and internationally, both as an ideal sport for rehabilitation and a fund-raising resource.

Maj. Grantham began organising stoolball matches at the Princess Louise Military Hospital at Chailey Heritage and games were played against the soldiers at the Limbless Hospital for Men at the Brighton Pavilion. The popularity of the game quickly extended around the country and between the wars there were over 1000 teams playing stoolball.

2016-03-09 15.14.57.jpgStoolball has always been a sport heavily connected with Sussex and dates back to the Middle Ages where players would use their hand to defend a wooden stool from being hit by the ball. In its modern format, it resembles a mix of cricket and baseball with a wicket comprising a square piece of wood elevated at around head height and teams aiming to score runs with the bat whilst preventing the opposition from catching or bowling them out.

Major William Wilson Grantham is, in many ways, the modern saviour of stoolball. He was serving on a military tribunal in Britain with the 6th Royal Sussex Regiment when his eldest son received a serious injury on the Western Front. There were a variety of methods used for the treatment and recuperation of wounded soldiers during the war, such as military massage. The possibility for also participating in sporting activity and contest was highly appealing to the army but they were wary of games such as football, rugby and even cricket and tennis being to strenuous and physical for these men and, as a result, likely to exacerbate their injuries.

2016-03-09 16.01.34.jpgIn response to this need, Major Grantham pioneered an inaugural stoolball match between wounded soldiers and elderly lawyers (including himself). The soldiers ran out victorious. Following the success of the match, Major Grantham began organising regular games in Sussex for injured soldiers. Such was the benefit of the sport it was played by both wounded soldiers and children at the St Nicholas Home for Raid Shock Children at Chailey Heritage.

mydearbigger2Our Conversation Cafes group have raced ahead with our related reading activity, looking at novels and non fiction books related to the Great War. Everyone who attended this week has already finished the book My Dear I wanted to tell you by writer Louisa Young. We chatted about it and it was a popular read. There is a sequel to this book The Hero’s Welcome, which we won’t be reading as a group but which is comes highly recommended. Thanks so much to the Brighton and Hove Libraries Service for the loan of these, and in particular to the communities and outreach libraries officer we’ve been engaging with through The Boys on the Plaque project -Kate Regester – who’s been incredibly helpful and supportive of our activities at Jubilee Library.

Our next book will be a novel by local author Umi Sinha called Belonging, again provided by the Brighton and Hove Libraries Service who have been invaluable to The Boys on the Plaque project. The book concerns a protagonist ‘Lila Langdon who is twelve years old when she witnesses a family tragedy after her mother unveils her father’s surprise birthday present – a tragedy that ends her childhood in India and precipitates a new life in Sussex with her Great-aunt Wilhelmina. From the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, BELONGING tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.’

See you at our next Conversations Cafe on Wednesday 13th April at Jubilee Library 2.30-4.30pm. You can find out all about next months theme Conversation Cafe April 2016