Today, 21 May 2017, marks the centenary of the founding by Royal Charter of the Imperial – now Commonwealth – War Graves Commission (CWGC). The Commission was the driving force in ensuring that those who died serving their country during the First World War were properly honoured and remembered
Loreto is on the 1911 Census at 4 Ivory Court but his name is crossed out in red & not included in the totals at the bottom of the form. Suggesting that he is dead/not living there and was included by mistake. The form is signed by Joseph Sambucci, Alberto’s brother. In the 1902 Towners Directory, there is a Loreto Sambucci living at 2 + 4 Ivory Court.
In 1911 Joseph Sambucci (24) is living at 1 Ivory Court with his wife Blanche (22) and baby daughter Margareta (3 months) Joseph was born in Brighton & Blanche came from Middlesborough. They had been married for 2 years with the one child in 1911. Joseph is listed as an employer & his business is Ice Cream Manufacturer – run from home. Blanche is a boarding house waitress.
Ivory Court was off Ivory Place, which runs parallel to Grand Parade between Morley Street and Richmond Parade. This area of Brighton was a slum area and the courts often contained the worst housing in the town.
The Sambucci Family – Ice Cream Vendors
“The penny capitalistsThe opportunities offered by the holiday industry also encouraged a proliferation of small and miniature businesses, the ‘penny capitalism’ that flourishes in this kind of setting.There was endless contemporary comment, in tones ranging from affection to exasperation, on the impossibility of promenading on the sea front or spending time on the beach without being serenaded by street singers or ‘German’ brass bands, snapped by itinerant photographers, accosted by organ-grinders with monkeys, invited to partake of fruit, sweets, gingerbread, shellfish or ice cream, or urged to offer a copper or two to a puppet or performing animal show. Boatmen, music-hall shows, lodgings and cheap restaurants touted for custom, and it was sometimes physically difficult to find a way through the importunate throng.”
The introduction of the ice cream machine
Carlo Gatti and the Italian Ice Cream Trade in 19th Century London
Carlo Gatti is credited with being one of the first to offer ice cream for sale in the streets of London. Carlo Gatti employed his fellow countrymen to take his ice cream around London streets in insulated barrows. They offered small sample of the ice cream wrapped in waxed paper by calling out “Ecco un poco“, which roughly means “Try a little“. The Italian phrase “ecco un poco” sounded something like “hokey pokey” to London ears and the ice cream vendors became known as “Hokey Pokey” men. The ice cream itself gained the nickname “Hokey Pokey“. A photograph taken near the Free Shelter Hallon Brighton’s seafront around 1910 shows a woman holding a child and offering ice cream from a barrow. On the sides of the barrow are painted the words “Pure Ices” and “Hokey Pokey” ice cream.
Before the introduction of edible cones in the late 1880s, ice cream was served from the barrow in a small glass cup called a “penny lick”. The purchaser of the ice cream would lick the ice cream from the glass and return it to the vendor. The glass would be wiped clean with a piece of cloth and then filled with ice cream for the next customer. Customers who did not want to eat the ice cream standing at the barrow could take the ice cream away after having it wrapped in waxed paper.
Carlo Gatti and Battista Bolla invited their relatives and other Swiss-Italians to join their thriving catering businesses in London. Hundreds of Swiss-Italians emigrated from Ticinoto London in the second half of the nineteenth century. Ticino had a growing population but only a small amount of good farming land. Unemployment was high and during the series of poor harvests between 1847 and 1854, a large number of Ticinesi left their nativeSwitzerland for other European countries and North America. [The local council in Ticino actually paid a lump sum (equal to six months’ wages) to working men in order to encourage them to leave Ticino].
The prospect of finding paid work in the Swiss-Italian cafes an restaurants that were springing up in London, encouraged a further exodus of emigrants from Ticino in the latter half of the nineteenth century. By the late 1870s and early 1880s, Swiss-Italians who had found work as waiters, barmen, pastry cooks and confectioners in London migrated to expanding seaside towns such as Brighton.
Alberto in France
“His letters speak of the cold and lice-ridden blankets. He also mentioned being made a bomber and trench raids. He said on one occasion it took him 2.5 hours to cover 120 yards from no mans land back to his trench. His last letter written just two days before his death said he was in the pink and hopeful of some leave. On the day that he was killed the Battalion diary states that three other ranks were killed when Sap15 was blown in, then an hour later two other ranks were shot by sniper fire, so we do not know the circumstances of his last moments.”
Written account by Alberto’s grand daughter as published on: ‘The Wartime Memories Project – The Great War’
A Bit About Cambrin Churchyard
This summer, Oxford University are launching ‘Lest We Forget’, a new community-based initiative to preserve materials held by the public dating from the First World War. Building on from the success of our ‘Great War Archive’ in 2008, a mass-digitisation project that attracted the direct submission of over 6,500 items (now available online), we want…
Brighton & Hove in WWI – Free event day
& Launch of The Boys on the Plaque book
Venue: Jubilee Library, Brighton, 11am – 4.30pm – 30th June 2017
11 – 11.20am: Introductions by Nicola Benge, The Orange LiliesProject Manager & Clare Hankinson, The Boys on the PlaqueProject Manager
11.20am – 12.10pm: Dr Frank Gray – Director of Screen Archive South East shows vintage film clips & discusses Brighton during WWI
12.15 – 1.30pm: Brighton & Hove in WWI Q & A – chaired by Dr Sam Carroll + Speakers: Dr Chris Kempshall, Dr Alison Fell, Dr Geoffrey Mead & Dr Frank Gray
1.35– 2.25pm: Dr Alison Fell – First World War Women workers and strikes
2.35 – 3.25pm: Dr Chris Kempshall – Brighton, The Boar’s Head, and the Somme
3.30 – 4.20pm: Dr Geoffrey Mead – Laundry maids and Fishermen – Aspects of work in WW1 Brighton
4.45pm onwards: Unveiling of new Battle of Boars Head memorial at The Steine War Memorial, Brighton
Battle of Boar’s Head exhibition courtesy of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove; The Boys on the Plaque project resources, WWI exhibitions and resources from Brighton & Hove Libraries, Gateways to the First World War, and The Royal British Legion.
Venue – Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE
Queries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Orange Lilies project is delivered by Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage
The Boys on the Plaque project is delivered by Fabrica gallery
Both in Partnership with the following organisations:
with support from
Hastings Sinfonia is proud to be part of Somme100 FILM, an international project bringing together 100 live orchestral performances of the IWM film The Battle of the Somme to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle.
The original restored 1916 film, by Geoffrey Malins and John McDowell, with our live performance of Laura Rossi’s new score, lasts approximately 74 minutes. It is not recommended for children under 12.
We are delighted that our performance will be introduced by two special guest speakers: Dr Toby Haggith from The Imperial War Museums, and the composer Laura Rossi.
For more information about the project go to www.Somme100film.com
Venue and booking: St. Mary in the Castle, Hastings, England
We’ve had a sneak preview of the nearly finished textile banner we’ve been working on for The Orange Lilies project with artist Rosie James and young people in Brighton and Hove, through a series of workshops with young people at Jubilee Library in March 2017.
It’s looking great! We’ll be collecting it in two weeks time as there is still some final stitching to do, but it’s looks amazing and we’re really pleased with it. It measures 2 metres long by 1 metre wide.
When finished this will be installed at Jubilee Library in the city as part of the annual youth festival B fest from 24th May – 4th July 2017 for everyone to view, alongside a series of short films we’ve made with young filmmakers, facilitated by Tracey Gue.
We urge you to come and view it, and find out more about Brighton and Hove history during the Somme, the Home Front, and the lives of The Royal Sussex Regiment in France from 30th June -18th November 1916.
Thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries Service for hosting this exhibition
As part of The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project, we’ll be involving children and teachers of local primary school Middle Street Primary School in our explorations of the city during the Somme in 1916.