The Peace Garden was officially opened on Thursday 12 November 2015 by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO.
World War II cost the lives of over 36,000 Indian servicemen and more than 34,000 were wounded and over 67,000 became prisoners of war. World War II was the last time the Indian Army fought as the British Indian Army, as independence and partition followed in 1947.
The original Woking Muslim Military Cemetery was opened in 1917 by the British Government to counteract German propaganda that Muslim Indian soldiers from the army of Undivided India were not being buried according to their religious rites. It was built on common land compulsorily purchased from the Earl of Onslow to receive the bodies of soldiers who died from wounds or illness at temporary army hospitals on the South Coast. 19 Muslim Indian soldiers connected with WW1 were buried there and a further 8 connected with WW2.
We very much hope you will be able to experience the atmosphere of tranquillity of the Muslim Peace Garden and, perhaps, reflect on the sacrifice made not only by those fighting in the British Army in two world wars but also by the many nations and religions that fought beside them, including the Muslim soldiers of the army of Undivided India some of whom were originally buried here.
This trip provides opportunity for young people to discuss and explore the positive role Muslims have played in British history. This trip links the heroics of Muslims during the two most significant events of the 20th Century and there vital contribution in shaping British society today.
We hope those who attend this trip will achieve:
· A greater understanding of the positive historical impact Muslims have played in British history,
· Have greater confidence gained from understanding the cultural connection between Islam and British society,
· Take forward the knowledge from the visit, to share with others, in challenging radical views and bias opinions often published on social media and in national media coverage.