East Sussex Women’s Institute

During the First World War, the small village of Wivelsfield played host to the first branch of the Women’s Institute (WI) in East Sussex. The Women’s Institute movement originally began in Ontario, Canada at the end of the 19th century. From here they rapidly spread out across the rest of the country. The aim of […]

Peace - The Eastbourne Gazette 20/11/1918

East Sussex Newspapers and the End of the War

When news of the Armistice reached Britain on 11 November 1918, newspapers in East Sussex reported on the joy and the solemn reflection of the county. With the end of hostilities agreed early in the morning of 11 November 1918 and planned to take effect at 11am in France, the fighting was about to draw […]

1918 General Election

At the end of the First World War, a General Election placed voting power into the hands of millions who had never had it before and permanently changed Britain’s political landscape. The last General Elections before the First World War had both been held in 1910 and both had produced hung parliaments and coalition governments. The […]

Cooden Camp

Cooden Camp was a military training camp established in Bexhill at the start of the war. Situated near Cooden Beach Golf Club and Henry Young’s Cooden Mount residence, on what had been farmland between Cooden Sea Road to the east, and Cooden Wood, to the west. The initial occupants of the camp were housed under […]

Gertrude Coggins – Ticket Collector, Brighton Station

During the First World War, Gertrude Coggins served as a ticket collector at Brighton Station. On Christmas day 1912, Gertrude received an autograph book. Through the entries in this book, we learn something of her life during the years of the First World War. Her mother worked as housekeeper to Lady Dunn whose properties included […]

Women’s Land Army

During the First World War, Britain faced the risk of starvation. Huge numbers of men had joined the army and, as a result, farming and agriculture risked collapse. Meanwhile German U-Boats sank ships in the Atlantic in a bid to prevent food from reaching Britain. To keep Britain’s farmland productive, the Women’s Land Army stepped […]

Image courtesy of Clifford De Meza

Olive Daisy Fuller’s WW1 – Telegram Girl

In 1917 aged 14 years, my mother, Olive Daisy Fuller, joined the staff of the General Post Office then in Queens Road, Hastings, as a Telegram Girl (the Telegram Boys were all serving in the Army). She took the King’s Shilling and swore allegiance to HM King George V. Her duties were to deliver telegrams […]

New Anzac-on-Sea

The south coast town of Peacehaven has its creation and name heavily rooted in the events of the First World War. Originally conceived as a ‘Garden City by the Sea,’ Peacehaven was the brainchild of businessman and entrepreneur, Charles Neville. His aim was, on the surface, seemingly very simple: to create a town on the […]

Willingdon children gathered conkers for the War Effort

During the First World War, Britain was faced with shortages to various chemicals and components for ammunition. In order to maintain its army in the field inventive solutions to these shortages were sought. Mr Haylock the headmaster wrote an entry in the Willingdon School Log Book for 30 January 1917: ‘Sent off today 3 bushels of […]

East Sussex Munitionettes

The need for ammunition and weaponry on the front lines during the First World War led to huge numbers of women, including many in East Sussex, entering new, previously inaccessible, workplaces. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Britain lagged behind Germany in most forms of arms manufacture. They had only 300 machine guns compared […]