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OVERVIEW OF SUSSEX MEMORIALS
Compiled and copyright © Alan Seymour 2004
see also First World War Graves & Memorials in Mid-Sussex

“SUSSEX is a southern maritime shire, lying on the English Channel, with Surrey to the north, Kent to the east and north-east and Hampshire to the west; it is of oblong form in the direction of the sea-shore from east to west, being 72 miles long from Lady Holt Park (nr. Petersfield, Hants.) to Kent Ditch (nr. Bodiam, Sx.) and 27 miles broad from Tunbridge Wells (Kent) to Beachy Head (Eastbourne, Sx.). The area of the administrative county of East Sussex (together with the county boroughs of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings) is 530,555 acres of land and inland water, and of the administrative county of West Sussex, 401,916….” (Kelly’s Directory of Sussex, 1924)

The following population figures, are also taken from the same directory and compares the population in the county in 1911 and 1921 - three years before and three years after the Great War.

YEAR

GENDER

E. Sussex

Brighton

Eastbourne

Hastings

W.Sussex

TOTAL

1911

Males

110,745

58,370

21,809

24,981

83,283

299,188

1921

Males

116,604

62,647

24,864

27,033

88,963

320,111

Total

Increase

5,859

4,277

3,055

2,052

5,680

20,923

1911

Females

131,401

72,867

30,733

36,164

93,025

364,190

1921

Females

144,630

79,783

37,164

39,462

106,847

407,886

Total

Increase

13,229

6,916

6,431

3,298

13,822

43,696

(Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1924)

The majority of the town & village memorials found in Sussex, originate from the 1920's and were placed there by the local parish committees and Urban District Councils of that period as a memorial to the local people who gave their lives for their King & Country in the Great War. 'War-memorialing' as it's called is a fascinating area of research. To the knowing eye, Britain's town & village green war memorials provide a picture of a society and a way of life now lost..

Great War Memorials, are found in many locations throughout the county. As well as the usual type of stone memorial found on village greens or in town centre's there are memorial tablets, plaques, furniture and stained glass windows. These are found in places of worship, schools, colleges or workplaces, and often dedicated to the memory of an individual. Also found are war memorial gardens, halls, hospitals, parks & recreation grounds, tree plantations etc., the list is almost endless. Another type of war memorial often displayed in church, town or village halls, and listed in local papers of that period are 'Rolls of Honour', these commemorate and display the names of those residents from the local community who had served in during the war.

The Imperial, now Commonwealth (Mar.1960) War Graves Commission (CWGC) headstones, that are found in the churchyards and cemeteries throughout the county, are another type of war memorial. Some of these graves are of men who had died after being returned home to UK hospitals to recover from wounds received in action, while others are those who had died from illness, or from accidents while still in training in the UK. Most of the graves that are found in the smaller cemeteries/churchyards are of local men whose families had their bodies returned home from a UK location for burial. While in the larger cemeteries/churchyards near say to a local hospital or Military Camp are found the graves of men from other parts of the UK or even what was then the Empire. While looking around Churchyards / Cemeteries you will often find inscriptions on family headstones to other family members who had died during the war, and are buried or remembered in / on CWGC cemeteries / memorials in far off distant lands.

To begin with I will be covering the Mid-Sussex area and its surrounding towns & villages. In recording each memorial I have aimed, firstly, to establish its existence and location, then to provide an accurate record of any inscription of dedication. In doing this I have recorded a word-for-word account, shown in italics. Ranks and Regiments, however, I have found to be recorded in such a variety of ways, often inaccurate and misleading, so rather than include a long list of abbreviations and explanations as to the Regimental titles used, I have maintained a standard pattern for each. Names are also found recorded in various ways, so again I have also maintained a standard pattern, in alphabetical order recording first the surname followed by the Christian name or initial.

Feedback is appreciated, so if a fact strikes you as wrong, please let us know, mistakes unfortunately happen. Typographical errors are messy and are worth pointing out too; rest assured, once pointed out they will get fixed. Similarly copyright infringements are unintentional, once notified copyright material will be removed. As the section builds we hope you will find it of interest in your own family, local, and military history research.

5 May 2004

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