War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © Transcribed & Researched Alan
are several memorials within Burgess Hill which are all detailed
on this page, the names being combined into one list with a key
to the source memorial/plaque/grave. The research behind the memorials
was carried out by Alan Seymour. The
names of those found on the various memorials are listed on a separate
page for World War 1.
Voice has written a book on the men
who died in World War 2 from Burgess Hill. It is on-line here
in .pdf format, you can download it or read on-line. Alternatively
a copy is available in Burgess Hill Library.
The town war
memorial is located in the 'Garden of Remembrance' at the
western end of Church Walk, opposite St. John's Church. The
memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Armistice Day, 1923.
Colonel C. H. M. Hitchins unveiled the memorial and the Rev.
F. G. Beddard (Vicar of Burgess Hill) performed the dedication.
of Remembrance' was originally described in the "The Story
of Burgess Hill" by A. H. Gregory pub. 1933 as follows:
War Memorial is a hallowed "beauty spot" at the corner of
Church Road and Crescent Road - a cenotaph in a " Garden of
Remembrance." The site is enclosed by fences and gates of
oak (near which seats have since been placed). A flagstone
pavement, turfed on each side, lead to the monument, which
has a background of poplar trees - reminiscent of Flanders
- and the garden planted with beautiful shrubs and flowers
and now illuminated at night, free of charge, by the Electric
Supply Company. The cenotaph stands on a raised platform,
and from the octagonal base rises a stone pillar, which is
surmounted by a striking bronze figure of St. George.
Mr. Walter Tower, of Lindfield, effectively designed the
"Garden of Remembrance," and the memorial; under his supervision
Messrs. Norman and Burt, of Burgess Hill, executed the stone
work, the fences and entrance gates; and the bronze figure
of the Patron Saint of England was done by Mr. Gough, of London."
the panels on the base of the memorial were - incised with
the names of the of the gallant dead in black lettering,
these have now been replaced by eight bronze plaques, seven
of which are inscribed with the names of the 145 who gave
their lives in the Great War, these are fronted by the eighth
which has the following inscription:-
is set up by the inhabitants of Burgess Hill to commemorate
their gratitude to all those who served their King and Country
in the Great War, 1914-1918, and especially to the honoured
memory of those whose names are here recorded, who went forth
from this place and returned not again".
plaque is another which commemorates the rededication of the
memorial in 1972, which reads as follows:-
in 1972 to all those who gave their lives throughout the years
that we might live in peace"
names recorded on this memorial.
The two stone
'Memorial Tablets' which now stand each side of the Great
War Memorial commemorate the names of the war dead from the
1939-1945 war and later conflicts, these record 90 names and
were added to the memorial garden in 1995.
John's Institute - Park Road
Located to the
north of the church in Park Road, is what was the St. John's
Institute, now known as Park Centre (2002) and is used by
the Oakmeed's Community School as their youth wing. The foundation
stone for the building was laid in October 1872 after Madame
Emily Temple, had decided to erect St. John's Institute to
the memory of General Hall and bequeath it to the town. It
was built by Simeon Norman Senior, for less than £1,200. The
building had two sets of reading and smoking rooms - one set
to be "free for ever for the use of working men". A framed
memorial board with individual photographs (x)
of five of the members
who lost their lives in the Great War used to hang in the
Institute. This memorial board is now in the safe keeping
of the Burgess Hill Local History Society.
Institute in memory of members who fell in the Great War 1914-18.
J. E. - 8th Royal Sussex
D. D. - 60th Machine Gun Corps
P. J. - 8th Royal Sussex
J. - Northumberland Fusiliers
A. - Royal Fusiliers
Edward the Confessor - Royal George Road
is located in Royal George Road near its junction with West
Street. Originally this was just a cemetery with a burial
chapel and was the extension to the St. John Churchyard which
had been closed to new burials since 1918, the land was consecrated
and opened in the 1920's. Next to the Burial Chapel there's
now a new building which is St. Edward the Confessor and recently
granted its own parish. There are no Great War Memorials inside
this church but on the South wall is the Memorial which is
dedicated to the 51 who lost their lives in the Second World
There are no
Great War burials in this Cemetery but the following six inscriptions
are found on family graves in this churchyard, all in memory
to family lost in the Great War:
Ernest Slater, 12th Royal Sussex Regt., killed in action in
France, Oct. 30th 1916 aged 17 years. (George, is buried in
the CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, SOUCHEZ, Pas de Calais,
& Alfred Weller, sons of Harry & Mary Weller, killed
in action in France. (Alfred, is buried in the SOLFERINO FARM
CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium & Harry , has
no known grave and is commemorated on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL,
Edwards A.B., lost in HMS Queen Mary at the Battle of Jutland
31st May 1916, age 23 yrs. also Edward H Edwards, 8th Hussars
died in the Persian Gulf, 19th July 1916, aged 26yrs.
(Edward, is buried in the AMARA WAR CEMETERY, Iraq & James,
is commemorated on the PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, Hampshire,
UK - two sons lost within two months).
Silsby, brother of Ernest Edward Silsby, Killed in action
in France, 17th April 1916, aged 35. (Charles, is buried in
the BETHUNE TOWN CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France).
John Court, only son of Percy John & Catherine Louisa
Court, killed in action in the Battle of the Somme 1st July
1916 aged 24 years. (Percy, has no known grave and it
commemorated on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France).
(Engine Room Artificer) James Ainscough, HMS Pembroke,
died 22 March 1915. - (James, is buried in the GILLINGHAM
(WOODLANDS) CEMETERY, Kent, United Kingdom
John's Congregational Chapel - Leylands Road
is located at the western end of Leylands Road near to its
junction with London Road. The Chapel is now run by the Mid-Sussex
Christians Association. The Chapel was built in 1828, and
was regarded as one of the oldest places of worship in what
was then St. John's Common, (now Burgess Hill).
In the north-east
section is the CWGC war grave of:-
Pte. Harold, 3479. 3rd Bn., Royal Sussex Regt. 6th Aug., 1919.
Age 21 died 06.08.1919.
In the north
section is the family grave of George & Louisa Smith,
on the kerb-stone is the following inscription:-
Stanley eldest son killed in action 6 August 1917 aged 19
Next to the
Chapel and now (2002) joined to it by an extension is the
St. John's War Memorial Hall. This building was built on land
donated by Mr. A. J. Bridge J. P., for use as a Sunday School
and other activities, at a cost of £1,720, when first built.
The hall was dedicated in January, 1924 to the memory of the
24 brave sons of the chapel who laid down their lives in the
Great War. A white memorial tablet of 'Sussex Winkle Stone',
was mounted inside the hall on the West wall with their names
inscribed on it. In 1985, when this Chapel changed hands it
is believed that the war memorial stone was moved from the
hall and placed in storage in the United Reform Church, Junction
Road Burgess Hill. Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate
this memorial stone and it now appears it may have been mislaid?
The actual frame work of this memorial and a photograph showing
the inscription and the names recorded on it is in the hands
of the Burgess Hill Local History Society. On page 163 of
A. H. Gregory's book "The Story of Burgess Hill" pub.1933,
there's a photograph showing the the interior of the hall
and the original location of the memorial tablet.
on the memorial read:
To the glory
of God and in grateful memory of the men of St. John's Chapel
who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914-1918
liveth for evermore"
Reform Church - Junction Road
formerly The Congregational Church, built in 1881, it is located
at the southern end of Junction Road near to its junction
with Keymer Road. I haven't located a memorial for the Great
War in this Church but on the north wall in the rear hall
there's a memorial board commemorating the Jubilee of the
Church and the erection of New School Buildings. On the centre
panel is the following inscription:
Deo. To commerate the jubilee of the Church and the errection
of new school buildings. Unveiled by Lt. Colonel Charles
W. Berkeley 2nd 7th London Regt., & Maj. Sir Pieter van
b Stewart-Bam, 3rd 7th London Regt. On 20th May
1915 in the time of the Great War as representing
his Majesty troops quartered in the town.....
There is a
war memorial commemorating five members who lost their lives
in the Second World War. At present (2002), it's awaiting
to be re-hung after redecoration and some modernization of
British Legion - Cyprus Road
Inside the Clubhouse
on the south wall are two war memorials, one commemorates
the 90 who lost their lives in the Second World War, the other
is the London Road School, Great War Memorial Board. Originally
this board used to hang in a classroom at the school, the
school closed in 1986 but thankfully prior to its demolition
in 1989, the board was removed. It was then passed onto the
Burgess Hill Local History Society for safe keeping, along
with the six picture frames that used to hand next to it.
These picture frames contained 68 photographs (x)
of old boys from the school who had fallen during the war.
At present (2002) the Memorial Board is on long term loan
to the Royal British Legion, Burgess Hill Branch, the photographs
are in the Societies photographic collection.
There are eighty-nine,
names inscribed on the memorial board and arranged in four
columns, two each side of St. George. The majority of the
names are in alphabetical order, except the last four, probable
later additions. Above the figure of St. George, is the following
forget (and under) Erected by the Old Boys of this
School in memory of their Schoolfellows, who gave their lives
in the Great War, 1914-1919. For God and Country Righteousness
Charles A. x
James V. x
William J. x
Frank C. x
Thomas H. x
Hubert c. x
Alfred E. x
Mervyn G. C. x
James A. x
John W. x
Robert L. x
Herbert N. x
Albert E. x
Percy J. x
Walter H. x
Arthur M. x
George J. x
James W. x
Norman R. x
William N. x
Frank R. x
Alfred J. x
William C. x
Ernest G. x
Edward H. x
Albert A. x
Stanley G. x
John E. x
Bernard A. de P. x
Sydney F. x
George W. x
Reginald E. x
Geroge H. x
Martin L. x
Eric J. x
Walter C. x
Parish Church of St John The Evangelist
was built in 1862-63, and is located at the western end of
what is now (2002) Church Walk. Inside the Church at the western
end the dominant feature on the south wall is the War Memorial
board. This Memorial commemorates the men who gave their lives
in both the First and Second World Wars, there are 117 names
recorded for the First and 52 on the Second. The 1914 -1918
board was unveiled and dedicated in 1919, and the 1939-1945
board was unveiled at a Dedication Service on Remembrance
Above the names
of the 1914-1918 board is the following inscription:-
and grateful memory of the men of this Parish who gave their
lives for King & Country in the Great War 1914-1918. Their
names are here recorded to be held in honour for evermore".
This part of the church is no longer accessible to the general
public it has now been partitioned off from the main part
of the church and is used as offices etc. Located on the north
wall in the first office on the right as you enter the aisle
from the north side entrance is a brass tablet erected by
the 12th Royal Lancers in memory of Pte. C. Hellier, the inscription
reads as follows:
In memory of Pte. Cymbeline Hellier XII Royal Lancers
who gave his life for his country in South Africa June 5 1900.
Erected by the 12th Royal Lancers Past & Present
from the south wall and now (2002) located in the South Chapel
is the memorial tablet to Walter Edwards, this had been erected
in the church by his parents in 1916, the inscription reads
memory of 2nd Lieut. Walter Edwards of the 6th City of London
Rifles. The Beloved Son of William and Maud Louisa Edwards
who was killed in action at Souchez France on Apr 27 1916
age 20 yrs."
In the 1914
-1918 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Register,
published in 1990, the following four burials are recorded
in this churchyard only three have a CWGC headstone which
are all located in the North Churchyard.
They are recorded
in the 1914-1918 CWGC. Register as follows:
Pte. Robert Henry George, SD/1218. 12th Bn. Royal Sussex Regt.
Died of pneumonia 10th April, 1915. Age 44. Son of John Lennox
Butcher; husband of Catherine Emma Butcher, of 8, Cross Keys,
Crawley, Sussex Grave ref. C.19 G. (North of Church).
Not mentioned in the CWGC Register, but inscribed at the
bottom of the headstone: Also in loving memory of my darling
son Pte. R. L. Butcher Royal Fus. killed in action 8.October1918
aged 19 years. (Robert Lenox, is buried in the FORENVILLE
MILITARY CEMETERY, Nord, France).
Pte. Albert, 201575. 3rd / 5th Bn. Bedfordshire Regt. 19th
Jan., 1917, Age 29. Son of Henry and Emily Simmonds, of 5,
Adelaide Cottages, Burgess Hill Grave ref. C. 105 D.
(North of Church). Not mentioned in the CWGC. Register,
but inscribed at the bottom of the headstone: Rest in Peace.
Pte. Alfred Edward, G / 12999. 10th Bn. Royal Sussex Regt.
9th July, 1916. Age 18. Son of Ernest Job and Mary Eliza Voice,
of 2, Edinburgh Cottages, Royal George Rd., Burgess Hill.
Grave Ref. C. 25 D. (North of Church). Not mentioned
in the CWGC. Register, but inscribed at the bottom of the
headstone: Peace Perfect Peace.
Pte. H., 8135. 1st Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. 18th Jan., 1920.
Grave ref. A. 195.
doesn't have a CWGC. headstone as he is buried in a family
grave in the west Churchyard near to the south wall. The grave
is located behind a holly tree and between the graves of ,
William & Sarah Verrall and William & Eliza King.
The main head or kerb stone with the family surname is missing?
(March 2002) but in the centre of the grave is small headstone
that reads Herbert died 18 January 1920. On the three remaining
kerbstone's is the following inscription, Lloyd died 3
February 1900 age 21, Herbert's brother. Confirmation
that it is the Whatmore grave is found in the Church burial
record, no.498, Lloyd Whatmore, buried 7 February, 1900, age
seven inscriptions are found recorded on headstones of other
family graves in this Churchyard, all in memory to family
lost in the Great War::
Caroline Hollingdale: Stone cross in centre of grave reads
"Percy J Court Cpl. Royal Sussex Regt. only son
of P J and C L Court killed in action in the Battle of the
Somme France 1st July 1916 age 24 Pro Patria."
(Percy, has no known grave and it commemorated on the
THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France).
Laughton:- Stone cross in centre of grave reads "In memory
of Ernest Chenery Laughton, Company Sergt. Major, East Surrey
Regiment, son of James & Mary Laughton, killed in the
Battle of the Somme France July 1st 1916 age 30 PRO PATRIA
R.I.P." (Ernest, has no known grave and his name is commemorated
on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL Somme, France. His name is not commemorated
on the town's memorial, but it does appear on the war memorial
located inside the church).
Kate Walder:- Stone cross in centre of grave reads "In
memory of Albert E. Walder, son of Thomas & Kate Walder,
killed in the Battle of Gaza, Palestine on March 26th 1917,
age 23 years. Loved and Lost. (Albert's has no known grave
and his name is commemorated on the JERUSALEM MEMORIAL, Israel).
the east boundary wall is a metal white memorial cross, the
inscription reads:- In loving memory my dear husband Pte.
Charles Nelson West (under this is the hand painted badge
of the Royal Sussex Regiment followed by) Killed in action
1916 age 33. (Charles, has no known grave and it
commemorated on the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France).
& Mary Waterfall:- 2nd Lieut. Vincent Waterfall their
youngest son killed in action 22 August 1914 aged 23. (Vincent,
who along with Lt. Charles George Gordon BAYLY, also aged
23, were the first Royal Flying Corps fatalities in the Great
War. They are both buried in the TOURNAI COMMUNAL CEMETERY
ALLIED EXTENSION, Tournai, Hainaut, Belgium
Anna Maria Downer:- Arthur Downer killed in action at Givenchy
France 24 December 1915 aged 41 years. (Arthur, is buried
in the WOBURN ABBEY CEMETERY, CUINCHY, Pas de Calais, France)
& Violet Isobel Frape:- also her son Reginald David
Frape, Royal Sussex Regiment Killed in action 30 June 1916
age 32. (He is buried in the CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY,
SOUCHEZ, Pas de Calais, France. His name is not commemorated
the town's war memorial).
Muddle:- also of Frank Muddle, her son killed in France
1 May 1917 aged 23. (Frank is buried in the FAUBOURG D'AMIENS
CEMETERY, ARRAS, Pas de Calais, France).
Andrew's Church - Junction Road
was built by Messers. Norman and Burt a well known local firm,
and it was consecrated by Dr. Redgeway, then Bishop of Chichester,
on St. Andrew's Day ,1908. The site of the church was formerly
part of Cant's Farm the farmhouse having been pulled down
in 1903. The St. Andrew's Church Great War Memorial consisted
of a Sanctuary, Choir Stalls and Memorial Window. The Consecration
of the Sanctuary and Dedication of the Choir Stalls and Memorial
Window by The Right Reverend The Bishop of Lewes took place
on December 1st, 1924. Inside the last page of service programme
is the following:
are the names of those who from the Parish of St. Andrew's,
Burgess Hill, made the Great Sacrifice in The War, 1914-1919.
In the side
Chapel are the wooden memorial tablets inscribed with 26 names
of those from the Parish who lost there lives during the Great
War. On another wall is another wooden tablet on which is
inscribed 10 names of those from the Parish who lost their
lives during the Second World War. The Great War Memorial
of the men of this Parish who gave their lives in the Great
In 1924, the Church was extended eastwards by the erection
of a Chancel. The dedication plaque on the south-wall of the
with the Choir Stalls were erected by the Parishioners in
grateful memory of the men from this Parish who fell in the Great
War" G. Tindal-Atkinson, Vicar. S.T. Maynard, G. R. Cooke
Church Wardens, E. Parsons, Hon-Sec., Parochical Church Council
plaque on the north-wall another plaque reads:
windows above the Sanctuary arch were dedicated on December
1st 1924, " in memory of Bertram Tassell, a choirman
and sidesman of this Church who fell in the Great War"
of Burgess Hill" by A. H. Gregory pub. 1933 mention is
made that in 1924, the late Alfred John Bridge J.P. of Wyberlye,
gave a reading desk as a memorial to the men of this Parish
who fell in the Great War.
There are five
burials recorded in this Churchyard in the CWGC 1914-1918
War Grave Register for Cemeteries and Churchyards in East
Sussex, they are:
Lce. Cpl A. E. 711. 10th Bn. London Regt. 13th Nov., 1914.
South-East of Church.
Lce. Cpl. A. J., G/9269. 8th Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. 12th Aug.,
1919. South-East of Church.
Cpl. John Edwin, G/2702. 8th Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. 6th Aug.,
1916. Age 30. Son of Walter and Mary Nye, of Burgess Hill;
husband of Anna Greer Penfold (formerly Nye), of Pollard's
Farm, Burgess Hill. grave ref. 104.
Pte. S. S. M2/222300. 52nd M.T. Coy. Army Service Corps. 31st
March, 1918. Age40. Son of William and Emily Paige Southcott,
of Braintree, Essex.
PTE. John, 20521. 2nd/5th Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. 16th Feb.,
1916. Age 46. Son of John Arthur Walker; Husband of Mrs M.
M. Walker, of Compton House, West St., Burgess Hill. South
Place, London Road
Inside the porch of this 16th Century house
will be found a memorial plaque that commemorates the three
Meautys brothers, the sons of Major T. A. Meautys, one time
owner of the house, the plaque reads:
"In faithfull and lasting memory of the three
sons of this house who during the Great War gave their lives
in France for their King & Country"
Lt. Thomas Gilliet Meauty, Died of wounds
22 Sep 1914 age 25
Lt. Denzil Hatfield Meauty, Died of wounds
7 May 1917, age 19
Both of the 1st Bn. West Yorkshire Reg.
Capt. Paul Raymond Meauty, MC (of the 2nd
Bn. North Staffs Reg.) Brigade Major, 53 Brigade, killed in
action 16 Jun 1917, age 26.
Few council houses were built before
the Great War, but towards the end of the war attitudes to public
housing began to change. This was partly due to evidence of civil
unrest in some parts of England caused by the high prices of food
and inadequate housing. Lloyd George's government became seriously
concerned about the shortage of houses to rent and in December 1919
Parliament passed a new Housing Act which made it compulsory for
local authorities to survey their areas for housing need and to
build where necessary.
Still found (2002) on the western
side of town, is a group of council houses named 'Mons Terrace'
no's. 94 -108, West Street. A similar group was also built
on the eastern side of town and named 'Marne Terrace', they used
to stand at the beginning of Valebridge Road, fronting the recreation
ground. Both groups of council houses were known locally as
'Homes for Heroes. 'Marne Terrace' was demolished in
the late 1960's early 1970's to make way for an Old People's Residence,
called 'Manor Court'. Another later group of council
houses in Royal George Road was named 'Menin Gate Terrace', unfortunately
this terrace no longer has the name plate showing.
On the death of Frederick Tyrell Godman in 1917,
(Lt. F. T. Godman was to die in 1917 as a German prisoner of war,
see Wivelsfield) the Otehall estate (Wivelsfield) was administered
by the Public Trustee, who in 1920 sold off the Theobalds Estate,
which was renamed the Valebridge Estate, (south-west corner of Wivelsfield
Parish where it joins Keymer Parish, Burgess Hill). It consisted
of Theobalds, "…farm house with cottages, stable buildings
and 254a. 2r. 38p meadow, pasture and woodland in the Wivelsfield,
Keymer Urban & Keymer Rural in the occupation of J. Woolland"
This they sold by dividing, the land up into plots; those fronting
Valebridge Road and Janes Lane (both Burgess Hill) being sold for
building while those on the corner, at World’s End, (Burgess Hill)
were advertised as suitable for shops. These plots were advertised
as "…suitable for the early building of a country Cottage
or Bungalow, or otherwise for a few acres suitable for a Poultry
Farm or for fruit and gardening." It was suggested as a
good investment for "…officers and men who have fought in
the War and now desire to live in the country, some of choice and
many for health and to regain by this means health and vigour lost
on the fields of War." This was a pattern followed at the
end of the World War 1 in several places, including Carshalton Beeches,
Wallington and Ripley in Surrey, in order to rehabilitate ex-service
Victoria Pleasure Gardens
The Gardens first opened in August 1897, the proprietor
of these gardens was Edwin Street, standing six foot four inches
and weighing just under 25 stones, was a conspicuous figure. As
well as being the proprietor of what, in their heyday, were considered
to have been the finest pleasure gardens on the south coast. He
was also one of the best known farmers in the county, the premier
butcher in the district, and a long serving and outspoken independent
member of Burgess Hill Town Council. These gardens were the Victorian
for-runner of today's (2003) Amusement & Pleasure parks, like
'Alton Towers, 'Chessington World of Adventure and Thorpe Park'
to name three.
With the outbreak of the Great War, Edwin Street's
future plans with regards to the Gardens had to be temporarily shelved,
as they were immediately requisitioned by the War Office for the
billeting and training of troops. In November, 1914, soldiers of
two battalions of The London Regiment arrived, 2nd/6th (City of
London) Battalion (Rifles), & 2nd/7th (City of London) Battalion.
In April, 1915, the 'Londoners' marched away, and
a month later were replaced by the 2nd/4th & 2nd/5th Battalions,
East Lancashire Regiment. They stayed for less than a month, nearly
all of which was devoted to strenuous training, and so had little
time or opportunity to socialize with the local residents in the
way their predecessors had done. Nevertheless, these lads with their
strange sounding accents, who had come from such far distant places
as Accrington, Blackburn, Nelson and Preston were warmly received
by the people of Burgess Hill.
Towards the end of June 1915, most of them had
embarked fro Suez to join their front line battalion there. A message
on a picture postcard of the period describes the manner of their
"This is a photo of our present soldiers.
They all went off for a bath the other morning, each one had a towel.
Some of them went to Egypt on Monday - it was a sight. About 1,200
went marching off towards the 'Magpie' (now the 'Sportsman'
P.H. at Goddards Green), with a Brass Band and Bugle Band in
the middle, playing 'Marching through Georgia' and 'Swannee River'.
The Brass Band was playing all the time, and every now and then
the bugles mixed in. It was simply grand."
On Whit Monday 1923, after a lot of hard work to
bring them back into shape the Gardens were re-opened to the public.
When WWII came In 1939, the Gardens for the second time in their
history were taken over by the military authorities. This time the
closure proved to be the final straw and the Gardens were never
re-opened to the public. The land was later sold for building and
where the Gardens once stood is now the site of the 'Victoria Industrial
The following article appeared on the 14th August,
1917 in the 'The Mid-Sussex Times':- HONOURING THE BRAVE - No
doubt many of the gallant Mid-Sussex boys on the high seas and at
the military fronts who read in the newspapers of the public war
shrines which are continually being erected in large town centres
t home are asking whether anything of a similar character is being
done in the smaller places. So far as regards our own district,
we believe that, with the exception of lists of living and dead
sailors and soldiers at places of worship, the answer to such a
question is almost in the negative. Haywards Heath and Cuckfield
are indeed collecting the portraits of local heroes and hanging
them in public buildings, but at Burgess Hill a collection is being
brought together in the shop window at 3 Keymer Road. This partakes
more of the generally conceived form of a war shrine, and owes its
existence to the patriotism of Mr. A. J. Brown, who began it in
a comparatively small way with a list of local football players
on active service on the sea, on the land and in the air, the card
having been nicely penned by Mr. E. Terry. This gradually spread
to a collection of the portraits of gallant Burgess Hill lads- there
are now 106 of these in frames in the window - and vases of flowers,
which are replenished two or three times a week by the offerings
of kind residents, have been added, also drapings in the national
colours. The shrine has a touching poem on the living men and a
succinct prayer for the departed, and the latter has probably been
heartily re-echoed by many passers-by, for it is very true that
sorrow brings hearts together and that one touch of nature makes
the whole world kin. So Burgess Hill lads who are upholding their
country's cause far away will see that the town in which their lot
at home was cast does not forget them - and will not do so as long
as memory lasts. As to other places in the district, we believe
there is at least one village where the erection of a war shrine
is in contemplation, but so far no active steps in this direction
have been taken there. (I wonder what happened to these photographs
etc. after the war - perhaps they survive in someone's loft or collection
names of those found on the various memorials are listed on a separate
page for World War 1