Copyright Weather Channel

Ongoing Fronts

Did you know that the term “front” used on modern weather maps came into use because of their resemblance to the military fronts of the First World War? The idea first emerged in Norway in the early 1900s by Jacob Bjerknes who created the notion of a “front” as a boundary between two air masses. […]

British Soldiers Digging 1918. Copyright Imperial War Museum

Cultural Differences

Did you know that British and French soldiers suffered a variety of cultural misunderstandings when they met? Soldiers of each nation viewed the other with a mix of curiosity and suspicion. Neither side had spent much time around the other before the war and it took time to adapt. French soldiers thought the British were obsessed with […]

British Summer Time

Did you know that British Summer Time was first initiated in Britain during the First World War? It had first been heavily proposed by William Willet in 1907 as an argument against the ‘waste’ of daylight. Willet died in 1915 with the government still heavily resistant to his proposal. However with Germany introducing a Daylight […]

Gas Chamber at Seaford

The introduction of gas warfare in 1915 meant that soldiers of all sides would have to learn to survive this new weapon. The hills near Seaford played host to a training gas chamber for just this purpose. The first serious use of gas as a weapon in the First World War came at Ypres in […]

Adoption and Reconstruction

After the war, many French towns and villages lay in ruins. Rebuilding them would require time, effort, and money … which is where East Sussex stepped in.  Whilst the Armistice in 1918 brought an end to the fighting, it was not the end of the suffering for many people in Belgium or Northern France. Over four […]

Chris Kempshall - Project Officer

Chris Kempshall – Project Officer

I am the Project Officer for East Sussex County Council’s First World War Centenary Project. In this role I have been creating content for this website and liaising with local museums, community groups, and residents. I have been actively researching the First World War since 2008 and completed my PhD at the University of Sussex in […]

Lowther’s Lambs

When war was declared in 1914, Britain found itself short of soldiers. Men would have to be found and motivated all across the country, and East Sussex was no different. This is the story of how Claude Lowther recruited hundreds of men and sent them off to war. Many would not return home. The sight of […]

Sussex and the Suvla Bay

With the war intensifying, desperate attempts were made to grasp victory. British soldiers were sent across the seas in search of a breakthrough, and East Sussex men were amongst them. As it became apparent in early 1915 that the Western Front had descended into trenches and stalemate. Allied leaders began to look further afield for locations where […]

D Company 11th Southdowns Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment

The Day that Sussex Died

The battlefields of the First World War are filled with tragedies and lost lives. This is the story of the worst moment in Sussex’s military history and the day its men died. The sound of artillery at the outbreak of the Battle of the Somme could be clearly heard on the Sussex coast. The noise of the […]

Letter about a Conscientious Objector

Conscientious Objection in Sussex

Whilst recruitment and conscription saw many East Sussex men enter the ranks of the British Army some resisted service on grounds of conscience or religion. First World War recruitment, which was built upon popular support largely peaked in the early months of the war in 1914. Propaganda posters and appeals to men’s patriotic instincts worked well but […]