18 The Rifles Monument

The Rifles’ Monument:

The Rifles Monument Dover

The Rifles Monument is in the centre of New Bridge.  The memorial was erected in 1861 in memory of members of the 1st Battalion 60th Royal Rifles who fell in India.

The Rifles Monument, mounted on a raised base in New Bridge, is today little more than a roundabout but when it was erected in 1861 there were still strong passions about the British soldiers who died in the battle. The nation was still getting over the shock of the Indian Mutiny (The First Battle of Independence) that broke out in 1857 and lasted for two years.

The first battalion of the 60th Rifles was stationed in Meerut in 1857 when luckily they discovered plans were afoot to massacre them all while unarmed at church parade. The 60th Rifles drove off the sepoy mutineers from the town and marched on besieged Delhi where they took part in six days of street fighting before capturing the Kashmere Gate (now called Kashmiri Gate) where the rebels were assembling.Many British soldiers died in the final assault on the gate and the siege of Delhi was lifted. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded.

The Rifles Monument Dover

The Rifles’ Monument circa 1900

In Dover in 1861 the officers of the regiment decided to honour their fallen comrades and won council consent to erect the Rifles Monument that bears the motto Celer et Audax (Swift and Bold).

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