Stories

To commemorate 100 years since the First World War, we would like to share your personal stories about family, yourself and your local community. To submit a story or an event, please go to Take part.

East Sussex Soldiers

Harry Streeter

Harry Streeter joined the army in the years before the First […]

Claude Nunney VC

Claude Nunney fought in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First […]

Albert Hendley - A Village Baker

Albert Henley was a baker in the years before the First […]

Private James Richard Moody

James Richard Moody joined the British Army in Newhaven at the […]

Flight Sub-Lieutenant Richard Swallow

Flight Sub-Lieutenant Richard Swallow was tragically killed on the South Downs […]

Eric Steere

Eric Edward Steere was a courageous young man determined to serve […]

Sussex Yeomanry in the First World War

One of the oldest of the Sussex military units, the Sussex […]

Conscription - The Military Service Act

Attitudes Towards Conscription

When war was announced in 1914, significant efforts were made by […]

William Albert Foord

William Foord joined the British army at the outbreak of the […]

Aubers Ridge

When thousands of British soldiers, including men from the Royal Sussex […]

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

During the First World War, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) first […]

The Battle of Petit Wood

Milton ‘petit’ Wood was the youngest brother of my great, great […]

Nelson Victor Carter VC

During the First World War, Nelson Victor Carter exhibited tremendous bravery […]

'My Family and the First World War'

This is an overview of the story of my maternal side […]

Private William Henry Broad

When William Henry Broad died in 1919 after his service in […]

John Kipling

John Kipling, son of Rudyard Kipling, was killed at the Battle […]

Lt Geoffrey H Malins - Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 950)

Documenting the Somme

On 1 July 1916, the British and French armies attacked the […]

Sidney Woodroffe VC

Lewes resident Sidney Woodroffe was awarded the Victoria Cross for the heroism […]

Sussex Yeomanry - Egypt

Following their time at Gallipoli the Sussex Yeomanry were re-deployed to […]

Cuthbert Bromley VC

Seaford resident Cuthbert Bromley distinguished himself during the Gallipoli landings on […]

Armour for soldiers

During the First World War, the size and scale of some […]

Private Frank Taylor

Saturday 28th March 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the death […]

Three members of one family

Three members of Tony Titchener’s family served in the army during […]

Charles Frederick Onslow Wickham

Charles Frederick Onslow Wickham was my great uncle on my mother’s […]

Sussex Yeomanry at Gallipoli

Following their mobilisation in 1914 the Sussex Yeomanry was soon deployed […]

Sussex Yeomanry at the Outbreak of War

In the Spring of 1915 the Sussex Yeomanry were stationed at […]

My Great Grandad - William Henshaw

William Frederick Henshaw William Henshaw lived in Bexhill on Sea (Near […]

L/Cpl Henry Wooller 9th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment

L/Cpl. Henry Wooller Killed 17 June 1918 aged 27 G/651 9th […]

Christmas in the First World War

Christmas during the First World War was as much a story […]

Private Ernest Wooller

My great uncle Ernest Wooller was born at Malthouse Cottages, Red […]

The Gypsy Traveller Community in WW1

Among the surviving 40% of the records of soldiers who served […]

Death of Lord Willingdon's Son and Heir

The Hon Gerard Freeman-Thomas was one of the first casualties of […]

'Your True and Ever Loving Sweetheart' - Letters from the Front

During the First World War, the only regular link soldiers had […]

Shot at Dawn

During the First World War, maintaining discipline within the various armies […]

Frederick Thomas Divall - Blackham Village

Frederick Thomas Divall, was born and raised in Blackham Village. The […]

Major Martineau - Newhaven Fort Commander 1914-1915

Major Alfred John Martineau was the Commander  of 1/1 Company Sussex Royal […]

Clement William Whyborn

Bombardier Clement William Whyborn was the first Bexhill man to fall […]

Reginald Cox

Living in St Leonards at the outbreak of the war, Reginald […]

Mothers of the Empire

A few years ago, looking into my Family Tree, I discovered […]

George Lade

Having grown up in East Sussex before moving to Australia, George […]

To The Men Who Served - Townspeople's Letter of Gratitude

Men from Hastings and St. Leonards who fought in and survived […]

Lowther's Lambs

When war was declared in 1914, Britain found itself short of […]

Sussex and the Suvla Bay

With the war intensifying, desperate attempts were made to grasp victory. […]

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 […]

East Sussex Soldiers
The East Sussex Front

Women’s Suffrage Campaigning in Crowborough, Uckfield and Heathfield

In the years preceding the First World War many women in […]

Muriel Matters

Muriel Matters was a strong supporter Women’s Suffrage and opponent of […]

Hastings Pier Fire

On 15th July 1917, a fire devastated Hastings Pier. 100 years on, […]

Alcohol and the First World War

The outbreak of the First World War brought about many changes […]

Bonfire Night in the First World War

The celebration of ‘Bonfire Night’ remained popular in East Sussex during […]

East Sussex Suffragettes

Both before and during the First World War, the Suffragette movement […]

The Thorntons and East Sussex County Council

During the First World War, whilst Major Robert Thornton served as […]

First World War Graves and East Sussex

At the end of the First World War the bodies of […]

British Nannies in Great War Sussex

When refugees from Belgian began arriving in Britain during the First […]

Homosexuality in the First World War

Homosexuality was illegal during WW1, and remained so up until 1967. […]

East Sussex Women's Institute

During the First World War, the small village of Wivelsfield played […]

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, […]

1918 General Election

At the end of the First World War, a General Election […]

Cooden Camp

Cooden Camp was a military training camp established in Bexhill at […]

Gertrude Coggins - Ticket Collector, Brighton Station

During the First World War, Gertrude Coggins served as a ticket […]

Women's Land Army

During the First World War, Britain faced the risk of starvation. […]

Image courtesy of Clifford De Meza

Olive Daisy Fuller's WW1 - Telegram Girl

In 1917 aged 14 years, my mother, Olive Daisy Fuller, joined […]

New Anzac-on-Sea

The south coast town of Peacehaven has its creation and name […]

Willingdon children gathered conkers for the War Effort

During the First World War, Britain was faced with shortages to […]

East Sussex Munitionettes

The need for ammunition and weaponry on the front lines during […]

Soldiers Recreation Club in Willingdon School

From early in the war camps sprung up around Willingdon and […]

Boxing World Champions Fight at Seaford

In 1917, the troops stationed at the North Camp in Seaford […]

The Mobilisation of Newhaven Fort

Upon the outbreak of war in 1914, Sussex soldiers were quickly […]

Picture Postcards of the Great War (1914-1918)

During the war careful measures were taken to maintain the spirits […]

Rediscovered: early WWI rifle range at Newhaven

With the outbreak of the Great War in early August, 1914, […]

The Sound of Guns

Britain may have been at war but most of the population […]

Food during the First World War

As the war progressed, fresh fruit, vegetables and meat got harder […]

Gas Chamber at Seaford

The introduction of gas warfare in 1915 meant that soldiers of […]

Letter about a Conscientious Objector

Conscientious Objection in Sussex

Whilst recruitment and conscription saw many East Sussex men enter the ranks of […]

The East Sussex Front
East Sussex Medical
Sussex County Nursing Association - 1906

Midwifery and the Sussex County Nursing Association

During WW1 thousands of British nurses were dispatched around the world […]

Friends Ambulance Unit

During the First World War many people served in voluntary medical […]

The Bray Sisters

During the First World War, many women across the country chose […]

Influenza Pandemic

Whilst fighting continued on the front lines in 1918, a more […]

The Wounds of War

The destructive power of the weaponry used during the First World […]

Educative Convalescence at Chailey Heritage

During the First World War, over 240,000 British soldiers lost limbs […]

Autographs from a VAD nurse: Filsham Park Hospital

I have just been given an Autograph book that belonged to […]

Pauline Paget at Summerdown Camp

The Angel of Summerdown

Many soldiers were returned to Britain during the First World War with a […]

East Sussex Medical
East Sussex Air & Sea

The Black Ship SS40

During the First World War, there were numerous attempts to get […]

Polegate Royal Naval Airship Station at Lower Willingdon

During the First World War, Royal Naval Airships from Polegate patrolled […]

Airship Station Buildings following the War

During the First World War Royal Naval Airships were deployed at […]

Newhaven Port

During the First World War, the British Army in France needed […]

HMS Ariadne

When the HMS Ariadne was sunk in the First World War, […]

Airship Disaster on the Downs

During the First World War, hydrogen filled airships patrolled the air […]

SS Brighton IV and Hospital Ships

The East Sussex ports played an important role as the place […]

Defending Sussex's Shores

At the outbreak of war in 1914, Britain began the process […]

The Sussex Pledge

Whilst battle raged on land during the First World War, the […]

Newhaven's Seaplanes

In order to get much needed supplies safely across the channel, […]

East Sussex Air & Sea
East Sussex & Beyond

A story of “almost love” and War

During the First World War soldiers who travelled abroad would often […]

West Indian Soldiers in Seaford

The outbreak of war in 1914 saw the major combatants draw […]

An Eastbournian in Italy

This summer I worked at the Eastbourne Library researching every kind […]

Chinese Labourers in Newhaven

With manpower shortages hampering the war effort, the British Army looked […]

Canadians in Bexhill-on-Sea

The Canadians arrived in Bexhill on 12 March 1917 following the […]

Eastbourne's Belgians

With their countries gripped by war and their homes and possessions […]

Indian soldiers at the Royal Pavilion - The Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove

Indian Soldiers in East Sussex

When war was declared in 1914 the major combatants would come […]

Adoption and Reconstruction

After the war, many French towns and villages lay in ruins. […]

East Sussex & Beyond
East Sussex Remembers

Westham Memorial Bell

The parish church of St Mary in the Sussex village of […]

Framfield's Memorial Trees

After the First World War, the village of Framfield, East Sussex […]

Crowborough Remembers

To mark the end of the First World War Centenary a […]

Wadhurst History Society Exhibition

On Saturday 2nd June, Wadhurst History Society held an Exhibition in […]

Lewes Remembers - Torch Procession

On 12th November 2017, flaming torches were carried through the streets […]

Ringing Remembers

During the First World War, the ringing of bells was used […]

100th Anniversary of Willingdon Airship Crash

The Downs were shrouded in thick low cloud on 20 December […]

1914 -1918: Lewes Remembers

New images from the world’s oldest photographic studio have been released […]

Refrain - Verity Standen

Verity Standen’s Refrain was an immersive, choral experience performed at Newhaven […]

The Boys on the Plaque

Fabrica, in partnership with Strike A Light and Brighton & Hove […]

Raising Lazarus

Upon discovering that Kat Francois had a West Indian relative in World […]

St Paul's Cathedral WW1 Altar Frontal

Currently on display at St Paul’s Cathedral is a beautifully embroidered […]

East Sussex 'Then and Now': April 1917 - May 1917

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

Roll of Honour

WW1 Roll of Honour - Hastings, St Leonards & Surrounding Area

WW1 Roll of Honour (www.ww1rollofhonour.co.uk) is a photographic record of the […]

The Orange Lilies - Brighton and Hove in the Somme

Strike a Light, in partnership with Brighton & Hove Library and […]

New Memorial at Brighton College: Remembering the 149

To provide a visible memorial to the 149 Old Brightonians who […]

Battle of the Boar's Head - A Poem

Battle of the Boar’s Head at Ferme du Bois, Near Richebourg, Northern […]

Every Boy Remembered: Brighton College Commemorates the First World War

At the outbreak of the First World War, Rev. Canon William […]

East Sussex 'Then and Now': August 1915 - March 1917

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

East Sussex 'Then and Now': October 1914 - November 1916

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

Blue Plaques in Seaford for West Indian Soldiers

The first ever English Heritage approved Blue Plaques in Seaford town […]

Horses in War Display at Edenbridge and Oxted Show

Over the 2015 August Bank Holiday weekend the Sussex Yeomanry Mounted […]

Edith Cavell's Railway Van

During the First World War, the execution of the British nurse […]

East Sussex 'Then and Now': March 1915 - June 1916

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

Participation in the International Open German Cavalry Championships

Participation in the 3rd International Open German Cavalry Championships at Boxberg, […]

Great War at Sea Poetry Project

The Great War at Sea Poetry Project was established by Hove […]

East Sussex 'Then and Now': February - October 1915

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

The Great War Booklist

East and West Sussex County Councils, along with Brighton and Hove […]

Horam’s Tribute to World War I

A Unique local Exhibition at the Horam Centre Like many people, […]

Dark Meadow

My wife, Kate, has an uncle from Guernsey who died during […]

Bexhill and the Two Minute Silence

While researching the present Bexhill Remembers exhibition at Bexhill Museum, it […]

Composing 'Memorial'

‘Memorial’ is the piece of music I composed for the Roll […]

Poems by Gillian Read

‘WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT.’ Deep water filled trenches Bitter cold, […]

The Deans Seniors Tea club

We run Senior’s Tea Clubs in Saltdean and in Telscombe Cliffs. […]

East Sussex ‘Then and Now’: August 1914 - March 1915

‘Then and Now’ images Kieron Pelling has created a series of […]

East Sussex Remembers
The Wider War

Hundred Days Offensive

In August 1918, the allied armies of Britain, France, and America […]

German Spring Offensives 1918

On 21 March 1918, the German army launched an offensive on […]

The Third Battle of Ypres

On 31st July 1917, the British army launched an attack against […]

American soldiers arrive in France

Did you know that American soldiers first began arriving in France […]

The Russian Revolutions

Did you know that the Russian Revolutions of 1917, removed Russia […]

Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister

Did you know that on 7 December 1916, David Lloyd George became […]

Race to the Sea and the Dawn of Trench Warfare

Did you know that in November 1914, Britain, France, and Germany […]

America enters the First World War

Did you know that a failed German plot to distract America […]

1916 American Presidential Election

Did you know that in November 1916, the United States of […]

Battle of Albert. Scene in a communication trench before an attack. July 1916. - Image courtesy of Imperial War Museum: Q110

Battle of the Somme

On 1 July 1916, British and French forces attacked German positions […]

Battle of Jutland

Did you know that on 31 May and 1 June 1916, […]

Battle of Verdun

Did you know that the longest running battle of the First […]

How the First World War ended

Did you know that Britain, France and America sent the first […]

The Wider War
Did you know?

1916 Summer Olympics

Did you know that the sixth summer games of the modern […]

What happened to Kaiser Wilhelm? - Sussex Yeomanry visit Huis Doorn

‘Whatever happened to the Likely Lads?’ The same question could be […]

Amelia Joel Mihlenstedt and the Alien Register

In 1916 Amelia Joel Mihlenstedt found herself under arrest by the British […]

Women's Football during the First World War

Did you know that during the First World War women’s football […]

Credit The RAMC Muniment Collection in the care of the Wellcome Library, Wellcome Images Blood tranfusion, in The Mytchett Collection.

Blood transfusions

Did you know that modern blood transfusions and blood banks were […]

House of Windsor

Did you know that the Royal House of Windsor as we […]

Stoolball

Did you know that the traditional Sussex sport was used during the […]

Ladybird Books

Did you know that the famous Ladybird Books for children started […]

Tanks!

Did you know that tanks, which were invented during the First […]

Solar Eclipse 1914

Did you know that there was a total solar eclipse on […]

Willingdon's Egg Collection

Did you know that millions of eggs were collected for wounded […]

Winnie the Pooh

Did you know that the original Winnie the Pooh was a […]

Strange Coincidence: Franz Ferdinand’s licence plate and Armistice Day

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated on 28 June […]

Blackberries for the Government Jam Scheme

Did you know that, during the First World War, children picked […]

The cost of the First World War

Did you know that Britain still has £2bn worth of debts […]

White Star Liners

Did you know that the Royal Mail Ships (RMS) Britannic and Olympic, […]

Don't Look Down - Parachutes in the First World War

Did you know that the use of parachutes was highly contentious […]

Camouflage Trees

Did you know that, during the First World War, armies used […]

Fokker Scourge

Did you know that the Germans first developed a way for […]

Newhaven Transport Memorial

Did you know that the Newhaven Transport Memorial currently sited in […]

Sjt Hoad and Edmund Blunden - Pillbox.

Did you know that the poem “Pillbox” by Edmund Blunden refers […]

The three cousins

Did you know that at the time of the First World […]

St. Symphorien Military Cemetery - Copyright Commonwealth War Graves Commission

First and Last

Did you know the first British soldier killed in the war […]

Feathered Warriors

Did you know, over 100,000 pigeons served in the British Army […]

Copyright Weather Channel

Ongoing Fronts

Did you know that the term “front” used on modern weather […]

British Soldiers Digging 1918. Copyright Imperial War Museum

Cultural Differences

Did you know that British and French soldiers suffered a variety of […]

British Summer Time

Did you know that British Summer Time was first initiated in […]

Did you know?
Our Project

East Sussex First World War – 4th Anniversary

On 4 August 2018, the East Sussex WW1 project celebrated its […]

East Sussex First World War – 3rd Anniversary

On 4 August 2017, the East Sussex WW1 project celebrated its […]

Lee Banner - Project Manager

Lee Banner, Policy Officer at East Sussex County Council and the […]

East Sussex First World War - 2nd Anniversary

On 4 August 2014, at the start of the First World […]

Commemorating Nelson Carter VC

On 30 June 1916, whilst rescuing wounded soldiers from No Man’s […]

Sophie Unger - Historic Environment Record Officer

As a professional archaeologist, I manage the Historic Environment Record (HER) […]

Beth McGhee - Policy Development Intern

I was a late addition to the project team, joining in […]

East Sussex First World War - 1st Anniversary

On 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany. One hundred […]

Kieron Pelling - Compelling Photography

In 2011, I started a blog with the aim of showing […]

Lesley Fairbairn – website advice

Working on this First World War website has opened my eyes […]

Madeline Whitty - Senior Graphic Designer

The design of this project has taken its inspiration from the […]

Indea Cadman-Rivers - Policy Development Officer

Although I would never classify myself as a historian, nor have […]

Sammi Hide - Senior Library Assistant Local Studies and Information

I work at Eastbourne Library where I’m responsible for the Reference […]

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Natasha Silk and Flo Pollock - Graduate Researchers at The Keep

From the 14-25 of July 2014, we were exploring the First World […]

Chris Kempshall - Project Officer

Chris Kempshall - Project Officer

I am the Project Officer for East Sussex County Council’s First World […]

Our Project