About our site

On this website you can browse for and add stories, anecdotes and current events commemorating East Sussex’s role in the First World War.

East Sussex was almost unique in its placement and activities during the First World War.

Being so close to France the difference between the home front and the war front were blurred here more than anywhere else in Britain. You could regularly hear the guns in France on the East Sussex coast.

Soldiers from all over the world were stationed here. Equipment was shipped en masse through East Sussex ports and wounded soldiers returned through them too.

We are investigating the history of the First World War but also its legacy, significance and history today. Our county has a rich history with the war and we want your help in showcasing it. This website allows you to submit your own stories, memories, and images for everyone in the county to see. You can also share and see events relating to the First World War Centenary as well as participate in our survey of local war memorials.

At the end of the centenary period, 2014 to 2018, everything that you see on this website, all of the stories, images and details, will be archived at The Keep (East Sussex Record Office), to ensure future generations can explore the history of East Sussex in the First World War.

East Sussex County Council is committed to marking the First World War Centenary in the best and most enduring way possible and we invite you to join us here for four years of commemoration, participatory learning, and community projects and activities.


This website has been funded by East Sussex County Council, in close collaboration with The Keep, East Sussex libraries, the county archaeologists and the archive service.  Special thanks to: The Imperial War Museum (IWM)’s Digital Media Department, the events plugin by Monique Szpak released at https://github.com/iwmdigital/wp_culture24, and all at the Culture24 team.

Design: Madeline Whitty, Senior Graphic Designer, East Sussex County Council.
With special thanks to Surface Impression and Hampshire County Council who helped inform our design with their own WW1 website, Hampshire’s Big Theme – 1914.

Build: Orangeleaf Systems Ltd on WordPress. Archives and historic environment data delivery via The Keep.

Web Editor and Project Officer: Chris Kempshall, East Sussex County Council. Contact Chris: [email protected]

Volunteers: We are also most grateful for the many volunteers who helped research and contribute to the stories that you’ll find on this site. Read about our Project workers and volunteers.

Partners and Stakeholders

Bexhill Museum
Brighton and Hove Black History
Brighton and Hove City Council, First World War Centenary Project
Centre for the History of War and Society, University of Sussex
Compelling Photography
Dr Lucy Noakes, University of Brighton
Eastbourne Borough Council
Eastbourne Redoubt Museum
Gateways to the First World War
Hastings Borough Council
Prof Keith Grieves, Kingston University
Lewes District Council
Newhaven Fort
Newhaven Museum
Orange Lillies Project
Rother District Council
Royal Pavilion and Museums
Seaford Museum
Strike a Light
Sussex Archaeological Society
The Keep
Wealden District Council