The Orange Lilies film shorts

shot_1493220388754.jpgJust to let you know about the new four short films we’ve created with young people from Brighton & Hove about life in the city in WWI supported by film maker Tracey Gue for The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project.

They’re a talented bunch!

You can see them online on You Tube, link here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEhJKbkBIHqf4dJQ7mnptzYi_qqn3yp2O

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Our final event!

20170630_170652-e1499443215907.jpgWe marked the end of our The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project with a big community history event on 30th June 2017 at Jubilee Library in Brighton.

It was a roaring success with a great variety of speakers and around 150 visitors to the drop in day, listening to presentations, visiting stalls and exhibitions at the venue, followed by the unveiling of a memorial stone to those who fell at The Battle of Boar’s Head on 30th June 1916.

Just to say a huge thank you for your support and delivery for The Orange Lilies project since June 2016.
Your time and expertise has really served to make the project happen and is so very much appreciated. I really can’t thank you enough for your involvement!
We are still uploading research to the project website, so things won’t end right away, but in terms of project delivery we are now complete.
I must say it’s come round far too soon and I feel in some ways like we’ve just got started, so am sad to finish, but on to projects new for now.
We’ve had great feedback from visitors for the day in general and also each specific session. The day was a real success and we had around 150 visitors ongoing through the day to hear your presentations. I hope you enjoyed it too!
‘I was glad to catch Geoffrey Mead’s talk. Fascinating!’
‘The speakers were of an extremely high standard’
‘Chris Kempshall’s talk was my favourite part’
‘A fascinating day, thank you!’
‘Really enjoyed it’
‘The speakers were all inspirational, amusing, entertaining, relevant and inspiring’
‘It was an illuminating and fascinating day of events’
‘All the presentations (including the Q+A) were of an extremely high standard’
‘Many congratulations on a superb project’
If you’d like to join the Strike a Light mailing list for future project activities and events, do let me know and I’ll add you to the newsletter. 
To keep up with us in other ways you can ‘Follow’ the Strike a Light website – https://strikealight.org/
or on Twitter – @strikerlight

 

Sydney Barrow

Sydney Barrow was born, 13th October 1885 at Berwick, East Sussex. He died on the 11th October 1962 in Brighton. At the age of 77 years. His Regiment was the 2/1st Sussex Yeomanry and his rank was Acting Corporal, Service number: 171267.

 His profession pre-war was Brighton Borough Police Officer and his profession post-war was Bailiff at Brighton County Court.

He married in 1919 to Nellie Durden in Eastbourne.

Family life

Sydney Barrow was born 13th October 1885 in Berwick, East Sussex where his ancestors appear to have lived for several generations.

Home life

Sydney was the younger brother of Herbert who was born in 1884. Sydney and Herbert attended Berwick School.

The picture below shows the two boys with their parents Frederick and Ellen. Sydney is on the left.

syde

By 1901 Sydney was working on a farm as a worker. He is still living in Berwick.

On 11th March 1908 Sydney became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living at the time but within the 1911 Census, three years later; it is revealed that he was living with his Uncle Benjamin John Woodall at 41 Kings Street, Brighton. Woodall had married Isabel Barrow. 

Military career

The Military records are very sketchy for Sydney Barrow, only two documents have been found. Upon the two WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton, Sydney appears to be with two units, The Sussex Yeomanry and The Northumberland Fusiliers.

Sydney Barrow received permission from Chief Constable William Gentle to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr. William Gentle on 19th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day and according to the “Silver Badge” records attested to join the Army the same day.

Other Police Officers that had applied for permission to join the Army that were released from the Police on the same date as Barrow are shown below:-

Herbert Boxall, Thomas Ford, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.

The first record from the UK, WW1 Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914 -1920 shows that he qualified for the British War Medal along with the Victory Medal. He was Acting Corporal in the Sussex Yeomanry and his service number was SY 171267. The medal form which is dated 1920 also shows Sydney as a Lance Sergeant with the Northumberland Fusiliers, service number 237027.

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Victory Medal

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British War Medal

 

Within the Silver War Badge Roll transcription held at ‘Find my past an entry is found which records Sydney as having enlisted on 19th May 1915. At some stage unknown he received a Gun Shot wound and was discharged from the Army due to injury on 13th December 1918 aged 33yrs as a Lance Sgt. Sydney was awarded a Silver War Badge number B/65986.

Post war

Sydney Barrow eventually returns to Brighton Borough Police Force on 9th October 1919. It is not known where he has been since his discharge. A picture below is undated. The 1939 Register is our next insight to Sydney’s life which finds him alive and well living at 187 Ditchling Road, Brighton.  Sydney married Nellie Durden at Eastbourne in 1919. The couple appear to have four children;

Kathleen Mary Barrow born 25th April 1920 Brighton.

Norah Phyllis Barrow born 19th December Brighton.

Audrey Ellen Barrow born 1924 Brighton.

Hilda A Barrow born 1927 Brighton.

Sydney is shown to be employed as a Bailiff at Brighton County Court

Sydney died in Brighton on 11th October 1962 aged 76 years at Brighton General Hospital. Probate register shows that he was still living at 187 Ditchling Road.

Nellie Barrow died on 7th August 1981 aged 90 years.

Research problems-

The only research problem was a lack of army service records. Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017. Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579. Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Lance Corporal Charles Edward Ball

Charles Edward Ball was born in 1882 in Hastings Sussex. He died on the 3rd of September 1916 in Beamont Hemal, France at 29 years.  His Regiment was the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion. His service number was SD/3521. His profession before the war was a barman.

Family Life:

1901 Census  shows that Charles’ mother Jane had re-married  to a Jerimiah Delay. The census therefore shows Jane’s children with the name Ball.

Military Career:

Lance Corporal Charles Ball fought at Ferm Rue De Bois where he earned a Military Medal for bravery.   He survived this battle and was sent to Beaumont Hemel where he died in action.

His wife was awarded the medal posthumously, the following was recorded in a local newspaper. (Ref GWF)

‘At Preston Barracks in Lewes Road Brighton 700 hundred people were present when Col Rodmell awarded to Lance Corporal Charles Ball’s widow with her small son Bernard present, a medal for bravery.

The official record states:-  ‘The attack became rather disorganised in the darkness and smoke. Lance Corporal Charles Ball got together a party of men  and pushed on with them and gained a footing in the German trench. He held this ground until every man was a casualty. This was  in July 1916. Lance Corporal Bell  survived this battle was killed in action three months later.’

Brother Robert was present wearing a blue uniform, as a wounded soldier. He was also in the Royal Sussex Regiment 13th Battalion.  He was the second son of  Jane Delay  who by this time had died. He was also brother to Carrie Morris who resided in Manitoba Canada. (Neither Carrie or Robert were mentioned in the 1901 Census.)

Lance Corporal Bell is recorded on The Sussex Roll of Honour and is buried at Beaumont Hamel Military Cemetery

RESEARCH DIFFICULTIES.

I was unable to find a military record for Charles Ball and assume this was destroyed in a fire with many others. It was also impossible to trace his Regiment to  The Battle of Beaumont Hemel as the record for the regiment ceased in 1916. Therefore it is not known how Charles Ball died.

Arthur Henry Avis

 Arthur Henry Avis, was born on the 9th May 1889 in Rottingdean, Brighton, Sussex.

 

Family life

The Avis family appear to have lived in Rottingdean for several generations. Arthur’s parents are both from Rottingdean and despite a few years in London where they were both servants they returned to Rottingdean with young children.

1889 saw the birth of Arthur Henry Avis but unfortunately his father died the same year.

Home life

Arthur was the youngest of four children. He had 2 brothers and a sister. The children were brought up by their mother living on her own. At the age of 11 Arthur was a milk boy along with his 13 yr old brother according to the 1901 Census. By the age of 21 he was a Gardener living as a boarder in The Lodge, St Mary’s Hall, Brighton (1911 Census).

On 5th October 1914 Arthur became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force.

Military career

Arthur Avis appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton Town Hall. They are shown to be with The Royal Sussex Regiment.
The exact location of where these memorials were originally hung is at this moment lost in time. It is known however that both were recovered from the Old Wellington Road Police Station by author and historian, Retired Police Constable David Rowland and safely deposited in store within the basement of Brighton Police Station, John Street.

Arthur Henry Avis received permission to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr William Gentle on 12th May 1915. He left the Police on the same and day attested to join the Army on 12th May 1915. He stated his age was 26yrs, a Police Constable living at Garden Cottage, Rottingdean.

Other Police Officers that had applied for permission to join the Army are shown below.

All are released on the same day as Avis;=.

Edward Eade, Edmund N Funnell, Christopher Gaston, Clifford Gaston, William Daniels, William J Berry, Frederick Stephenson, George Simmons, Samuel V Kitchener and Ernest Lynn.

Arhur Avis has a service number of GS/6822 which is consistent with joining The Royal Sussex Regiment between 2nd May 1915 and 1st June 1915. The “GS” signifies those that joined up for General Service but was not always prefixed on their records. He showed his next of kin as his mother Susan giving the address as Garden Cottage, Rottingdean.

Arthur was initially sent for training with the 10th Battalion on 25th May 1915 at Colchester where he also received training in Stretcher bearing and First Aid on 8th September 1915. Several other recruits were from Brighton Borough Police.

He was at Shoreham between 13th September and 29th October 1915.

On 29th October 1915 he went to Weymouth 8th Battalion Depot for Pioneer training.

The 8th Battalion was formed as a new army unit under the recruitment drive launched soon after the outbreak of the war by the Secretary of State Lord Kitchener and although initially formed as an Infantry unit it was converted to a Pioneer Battalion. The 8th played a less active fighting part in the war; its main role was to be one of support, involving hard physical work. That said the 8th Battalion were still fully trained soldiers and they were required to carry all the same equipment as a normal soldier and be prepared to fight.

On 19th November 1915 Arthur joined the British Expeditionary Force and disembarked at Etaples. The Battalion formed part of the 18th Eastern Division.

The war diary of the 8th Battalion contains a mass of detail concerning map references, geographical positions and an amazing amount of technical information on all aspects of the pioneering work carried out, but sadly contains very little information of the non-pioneering activities of the Battalion.

It is known that Arthur would have caught up with his Battalion in or around Albert, just North of the River Somme. The Battalion was committed to general work on defences, which included trenches, dugouts, shelters and billets and remained in the area for December and into 1916 enduring heavy snow at the end of February.

March 1917 saw the beginning of the preparation for the “Big Push” planned for the 1st July 1916. The 18th had started to dig “Russian Saps” from the divisional front line, beneath “No Man’s Land” The Russian Saps were shallow underground tunnels through which men could pass to the attack unseen by the enemy. Arthur would not have seen the completion of the Saps.

In 1916 Army Council instruction No. 1733 was issued with regards to The Military Police. The instruction is long and tedious but in short explains that the system of Policing such large numbers of Soldiers at home and abroad required trained Police Officers. As a result it would appear that soldiers who were Police Officers prior to the war were being transferred to either the MMP (Mounted Military Police) or MFP (Military Foot Police).

The General Duties of a Military Police Officer include:

(1) The detection of crime, and the arrest of offenders.

(2) The maintenance of order under all circumstances.

(3) The surveillance and control of all civilians and followers within the area occupied by their formations.

(4) Assisting in maintaining march discipline of troops and transport and in regulating traffic.

(5) The collection of stragglers.

(6) The custody of prisoners of war until their transfer to railhead or to a P.O.W. working company.

(7) The protection of the local inhabitants against acts of violence on the part of soldiers or followers.

In addition there were numerous special duties they were expected to see to, amongst which were :—

Taking measures to prevent troops getting into contact with undesirable characters—prostitutes, enemy agents, provocateurs, etc. Ill-treatment of animals. Civilians found within the lines without passes or identity cards. Plundering, marauding and looting. Ill-treatment of inhabitants. Soldiers and civilians trafficking in rations or Government property. Unauthorized cameras and photography. Collecting and returning of horses. Careless talk and the apprehension of anyone giving military information. Arrest of suspicious individuals. The shooting of dogs found unattended near the forward lines, and search of the bodies for messages, etc. Seizure of carrier pigeons. Surveillance for means of communication with the enemy.

On 23rd April 1917 Arthur was temporarily transferred to the Military Foot Police for the duration of the war. He is promoted to Lance Corporal and his new service number is P10428.

On 9th May 1917 he joined up with the 1st Army at Pernes in France until 6th July 1918 when he was transferred to the 5th Army “in the field”. He was still serving with the 5th Army on 15th May 1919. On 6th July 1919 Arthur was sent to Boulogne for transfer to England for demobilization via Wimereux, France.

On 8th July Arthur is at the Crystal palace dispersal unit along with the Gaston twins where he is granted 28 days furlough. (Leave)On 4th August 1919 Arthur is transferred to Class Z army reserve. His address is 67 Bates Road, Brighton.

Arthur would have been awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and most likely the 1914-1915 Star although the army records do not show this. A medal card cannot be found.

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Victory Medal

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British War Medal

Post war

Arthur rejoins Brighton Police on 14th August 1919, having served the Colours for 4yrs and 3 monthsAt the age of 36 in 1925, Arthur married a probable divorcee (not a widow) Ethel Frances Maud Nickolls nee Finbow. Ethel already had two children from her previous marriage to Christopher George Nickolls. Harry Joshua Charles Frederick Nickolls aged 15 years and Bernard James Nickolls aged 11yrs. On 31st August 1926 Ethel gave birth to a daughter Gwendoline.

The 1939 Register shows Arthur, still a Police Officer, living at 13 Gerrard Street Brighton with his wife Ethel and their daughter Gwendoline.

Arthur died in Brighton in 1946 aged 57 and Ethel died 17 years later in 1946 aged 75.

Research problems- The only research problem was a lack of Medal Card. Copyright Researched and reported by Ian Borthwick 2017, Retired Sussex Police Officer AB579, Served between Nov 1976 to March 2007.

Sydney Millen

The Millen family appear to have lived in the Bethersden area of Kent for several generations. Sydney’s parents are both from farming backgrounds and working within the “Garden of England”.

On 5th November 1884 Sydney Millen was born in Bethersden. His parents Thomas and Elizabeth were married in 1872 in Kent. Sydney was born into a large family already having five elder Siblings.

The 1901 Census of England and Wales finds the family living at Star Farm in Bethersden, Kent. Sydney has three elder brothers, Harold 18, Herbert 16 and Percival 14, two elder sisters, Alice 11 and Bessie 9. He also now has a younger brother Ashley  aged 2.

Home life

The 1901 Census finds Sydney as a 16 year old servant. He is working on Buxford Farm, Great Chart, as a Milkman. Great Chart is just one hours walk away from his parents’ house.

The rest of his family has moved to Bean Place, Bethersden. Sydney’s father Thomas is now a farmer with his own farm. The family has a new son Spencer who was born in 1891. Harold is married with children. He is still living in Bethersden. Bessie is a Servant working in Tunbridge Wells.

On 2nd April 1908 Sidney became a Police Constable with the Brighton Borough Police Force. It is not known where he was living.

The 1911 Census for England and Wales finds Sydney as a boarder at 21 Quebec Street, Brighton. Sydney is shown as a Police Constable with Brighton Borough Police.

The head of the house at 21 Quebec Street is Benjamin Welch also a Police Constable with Brighton Borough Police. There is also another boarder living at the house, Alfred Birkin, who is also a Police Constable with Brighton Borough Police. No enquiries have been made with regards to Welch and Birkin as they fall outside of the terms of reference as neither appears on the Brighton Borough Police WW1 Plaques.
Military career

Sydney Millen appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton Town Hall. He is shown to be with The Royal Sussex Regiment.
Sydney Millen received permission to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr William Gentle on 11th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day and attested to join the Army. He stated his age was 30yrs and 6 months, a Police Constable living at 36 Grove Street, Brighton.

Sydney Millen has a service number of GS/6818 which is consistent with joining The Royal Sussex Regiment between 2nd May 1915 and 1st June 1915. The “GS” signifies those that joined up for General Service but was not always prefixed on their records.

He showed his next of kin as his father Thomas giving the address as Bean Place, Bethersden, Kent.

 

 

Sydney was initially sent for training with the 10th Battalion on 21st May 1915 at Colchester. On 8th September Sydney passed a course of instruction in stretcher bearing and first aid. 

On 29th October 1915 Sydney was posted to Weymouth 8th Battalion Depot for Pioneer training. The 8th Battalion was formed as a new army unit under the recruitment drive launched soon after the outbreak of the war by the Secretary of State Lord Kitchener and although initially formed as an Infantry unit it was converted to a Pioneer Battalion. The 8th played a less active fighting part in the war; its main role was to be one of support, involving hard physical work. That said the 8th Battalion were still fully trained soldiers and they were required to carry all the same equipment as a normal soldier and be prepared to fight.

The war diary of the 8th Battalion contains a mass of detail concerning map references, geographical positions and an amazing amount of technical information on all aspects of the pioneering work carried out, but sadly contains very little information of the non-pioneering activities of the Battalion.

It is known that Sydney would have caught up with his Battalion in or around Albert, just North of the River Somme. The Battalion was committed to general work on defences, which included trenches, dugouts, shelters and billets and remained in the area for December and into 1916 enduring heavy snow at the end of February.

March 1916 saw the beginning of the preparation for the “Big Push” planned for the 1st July 1916. The 18th had started to dig “Russian Saps” from the divisional front line, beneath “No Man’s Land” The Russian Saps were shallow underground tunnels through which men could pass to the attack unseen by the enemy.

By the time the Battle of the Somme started on 1st July 1916 the Battalion had completed eight “Russian Saps” to within 20yds of the German front line.

On 25th June, with day and night bombardment of the German positions continuing the 8th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment came under orders to be prepared to forsake pioneering duties and to fight as infantrymen.

On the fateful day of 1st July 1916 the 8th Battalion, despite heavy losses, achieved all of its targets.

The first of July has been described as the worst day in the History of the British Army who sustained 57,000 casualties 19,200 of them fatal and approximately 40% of them in the first hour.

 

There were several incidents that the 8th Battalion were involved in up until 21st July 1916 when they marched on and off for two weeks until arriving at Erquinghem-Sur-Lys  where they spent nearly 3 weeks training and constructing gun pits with the Engineers.

 

On 25the August the Battalion returned to the Somme battlefields. On 14th September 1916 Sydney was promoted to Lance Corporal and on 22nd the Battalion moved to assist in the attack of the German stronghold Thiepval. The 18th Division including the 8th Battalion successfully captured Thiepval that had held out against all other allied attacks since 1st July.

The War Record does not show any Leave dates for Sydney but, on 27th December 1916 he has returned to England. He married Lucy Mary Stewart at St Nicholas Church, Sturry, Kent.

 

Early 1917 saw the 8th Battalion conducting pioneering work where they were ballasting a communications tram line from Ovillers. Pioneering work continued from January through to April.

In 1916 Army Council instruction No. 1733 was issued with regards to The Military Police. The instruction is long and tedious but in short explains that the system of Policing such large numbers of Soldiers at home and abroad required trained Police Officers. As a result it would appear that soldiers who were Police Officers prior to the war were being transferred to either the MMP (Mounted Military Police) or MFP (Military Foot Police).

The General Duties of a Military Police Officer include:

(1) The detection of crime, and the arrest of offenders.

(2) The maintenance of order under all circumstances.

(3) The surveillance and control of all civilians and followers within the area occupied by their formations.

(4) Assisting in maintaining march discipline of troops and transport and in regulating traffic.

(5) The collection of stragglers.

(6) The custody of prisoners of war until their transfer to railhead or to a P.O.W. working company.

(7) The protection of the local inhabitants against acts of violence on the part of soldiers or followers.

In addition there were numerous special duties they were expected to see to, amongst which were :—

Taking measures to prevent troops getting into contact with undesirable characters—prostitutes, enemy agents, provocateurs, etc.

Ill-treatment of animals.

Civilians found within the lines without passes or identity cards.

Plundering, marauding and looting.

Ill-treatment of inhabitants.

Soldiers and civilians trafficking in rations or Government property.

Unauthorized cameras and photography.

Collecting and returning of horses.

Careless talk and the apprehension of anyone giving military information.

Arrest of suspicious individuals.

The shooting of dogs found unattended near the forward lines, and search of the bodies for messages, etc.

Seizure of carrier pigeons.

Surveillance for means of communication with the enemy.

 

On 23rd April 1917 Sydney was temporarily transferred to the Military Foot Police for the duration of the war. He remains a Lance Corporal and his new service number is P10414.

Sydney’s mother Lucy died in the first quarter of 1917. His father Thomas died on Christmas day 1917.

On 9th May 1917 he joined up with the 1st Army at Pernes in France. He was still serving with the 1st 25th August 1918. On 28th April Sydney was sent to England on leave returning on 10th May. On 15th June 1919 Sydney was again home in England on leave, rejoining the 1st Army on 28th June 1919.On 11th August 1919 Sydney is transferred to Class Z army reserve. His address is Howe Farm Cottage, Sturry, Canterbury, Kent.

Sydney was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal although at the time there was confusion over the spelling of his name. Medals were initially issued to MILLER and not MILLEN. The medals had to be returned and re-issued.

 

Post war

Sydney rejoins Brighton Police on 14th August 1919 along with other returning Police Officers. In 1919 Sydney and his wife Lucy have their first baby, a daughter Mary E Millen  is born. In 1922 a son Sydney W Millen is born. On 4th September 1950 Harold, Sydney’s eldest brother died. Sydney survived his wife by only two years, he died in 1973. His death is registered in Thanet.

 

Victor George Duke

FAMILY AND HOME LIFE:

Victor’s grandfather, Richard Duke, was born in 1831 in Bosham in West Sussex. He worked as a farm labourer in that area, living with his brothers, his mother having died in 1837 and his father in 1850. By 1861, at the age of 30 years, Richard had moved to Brighton and was working as a labourer and living in lodgings in Blackman Street.

By 1871, Richard had moved to the Hanover area of Brighton and was lodging in a three bed roomed terraced house in Holland Street with James Hall, his wife and two daughters. Also lodging there was Celia Martin and her three sons, James who was 7 years, Charles who was 3 years and George who was 2 months (Victor’s father).

Both James Hall and Richard Duke were working as general labourers.

Richard and Celia Martin married at St Peter’s Church, Brighton on 18/03/1877. Their daughter Emma was christened at St Peter’s on 4/10/77 but died early in 1878.

By 1881 the family had moved to Whichelo Place and shared a house with William Boxall, a labourer and his sister-in-law, a laundry worker.  Richard was working as a ‘Corporation’ labourer, his son Charles as a paper hanger’s assistant. George was at school and James was not listed.

George married Ann Burchett in 1889, who was three years his senior. At the time of the 1881 Census the Burchett Family had lived at 17 Claremont Row; Ann worked as a general servant and her father Charles was recorded as being a pauper. He was recorded on the 1861 Census as being a labourer.

The 1891 Census showed George, Ann and their son John, born in 1890, to be living with George’s parents at 33 Holland Street. George’s occupation was ‘Waterworks turncock’.(sic)

By 1901 they had moved back to Whichelo Place, number 25, and had four more sons. Victor was born in 1897. George’s occupation was ‘builder’s foreman’. (Richard and Celia lived at 21 Whichelo Place).

By 1911 George and Ann had eight children, seven boys and one girl, and the family had moved to a five roomed house, number 2 Cromwell Street, just off Elm Grove. Richard and Celia lived next door at number 4. They also had five rooms.

Victor at 14years of age was recorded as ‘Assisting in business’, presumably working for his father who was by then a coal dealer. His oldest brother John was working for the post office; William, born in 1892, was in the Navy; Alfred, born in 1895, was a page. Frank, born in 1899, Albert, born in 1902, and Arthur, born in 1903, were all at school and Mable, aged 4 year, was at home.

Throughout the war years Victor’s brother William served in the Navy on ships including Victory 1 and Excellent; he was paid a war gratuity. He was invalided out of the Navy in 1925 having completed sixteen years service.

Victor’s brother Frank, during the war, was Private 31065, 6th Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderer’s (formally 3085 Sussex Yeomanry). He was taken prisoner and died in captivity of pneumonia on 05/11/1918, aged 19 years. He is buried in Niederwehren Cemetery, Cassel, Germany. He is listed on St Lukes Parish Church Memorial. His war gratuity was sent to his father in May 1919.

 

MILITARY CAREER:

There appears to be little surviving information about Victor’s military career. He enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment, 13th Battalion, at Hastings. His regimental number is SD/2667, suggesting that he was one of ‘Lowthers Lambs’. He was killed in action on June 30th 1916, the day the Battle of Boar’s Head was fought. He is buried in Saint Vaast Post Military Cemetery, Richebourg-I’Avoue. Grave reference 111 Q.5.

Private Victor Duke was awarded posthumously the British Medal and Victory Medal.

His effects, a total of £10 9s was sent to his mother in June 1919.

He is listed on St Lukes Parish Church Memorial and in St Peter’s Memorial Book, as is his brother Frank.

 

POST-WAR:

George died on November 3rd 1931; probate was granted to his daughter Mable. Ann also died in 1931.

Mable kept house for her brothers Alfred and Arthur who both worked in the building trade; they lived at 2 Cromwell Street until their deaths. Mable died in 1968, Alfred in 1992 and Arthur in 1991.

William married Florence Parker in 1918.  He worked as a foreman at the Public Library Museum and Art gallery. He died in 1978.

Albert who had married Annie Biggs in 1924,  lived at 4 Cromwell Street at least until 1939;  they both worked at a laundry,  he as a driver and she as a shop  assistant.

John married Ruth Long in 1911 they had five children and lived in Southwick. John continued to work for the Post office as a telephone and telegraph fitter. He died in 1980.

Arthur John King

Arthur John King was born in 1895 in Brighton, and lived there with his family, and worked as a Rivet Lad at Brighton Station, Locomotive and Carriage Department. He enlisted as a private to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (regimental no. 177) on 12 June 1912, at the age of 17. Arthur died, aged 21, in a bathing accident, at Littlestone on 15 July 1916. He was off duty.
1914-Rudge-Sussex-Battalion-03

Rudge-Whitworth Bicycles of the 2/6th (Cyclist) Battilion, Royal Sussex Regiment

Family

Arthur was born in Brighton on 4 February 1895 to Samuel and Jane King who had 12 children in all, 5 of whom had died by 1911. Although Samuel was born in Brighton, he lived in Plymouth for some time, marrying a Devon girl, Jane Philp, in 1885 at the age of 29.
By the time of the 1891 census, still living in Plymouth, the couple had 2 sons and 2 daughters. Shortly afterwards, Samuel moved back to Brighton with his family and by 1901 had a further three children, including Arthur (1895) and his younger brother, Alfred Cornelius King (1899), who also served in WW1 and is also listed on the plaque.

Home life

In 1901, at the age of 6, Arthur was living with his family in Hollingbury Road in a property called St Malo and by 1911, they had moved to 22 New England Road.
Residence of Arthur John King 22 New England Road

22 New England Road (grey house, bottom left), Google Maps, Retrieved 5/16/2017

His father, Samuel, a hairdresser, had a salon at 70 Preston Road (now Preston Park Deli) which stayed in the family for over fifty years (c.1911-1969), passing from father to daughter (Ethel Maud King) around the 1940s.
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Preston Park Deli

He had previously had a salon at 26 Market Street, at the southeast corner of Little East Street, a building which was demolished in 1960.
He lived with his parents and four siblings at 22 New England Road. Two of his siblings (Alfred and Emily) were still at school and two older sisters (Helen and Emily) were both dressmakers.
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Railwaymen streaming down New England Road on their way to a hurried breakfast, in 1912. They started work at 6 am, and had a break for their breakfast between 8 and 8.30. Most of the men lived quite near to the Works, in such streets as Argyle Road, while others lived in Railway houses in adjoining roads.

Arthur had joined London, Brighton and South Coast Railway on 17 August 1910, aged 15, as a Rivet Lad at Brighton Station, Locomotive and Carriage Dept. At the age of 16, Arthur was described in the 1911 census as an apprentice boiler rivetter.  By the time he enlisted in 1912, aged 17, he was describing himself as a maker.
once the site of the locamotive works

“I’ve been documenting the demolition of the warehouses on New England Street, that were once part of the Locomotive Works. They were last occupied by Martha’s Barn, Cliffords and John’s Camping. Behind John’s Camping from the road (now demolished) leading to the Station Car park, 15/1/2004. New England House can be seen on the right; the Clarenden Centre to the left; and the viaduct in the distance.”
© Alan (Fred) Pipes

Military career

Arthur was enlisted as a private to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (regimental no. 177) on 12 June 1912 and was mobilized after training on 5 August 1914.
1914-Rudge-Sussex-Battalion-45
His medical inspection report on enlistment described him as 5 feet 4 inches tall, with a chest measurement of 34 inches. He was appointed (unpaid) to the rank of Lance Corporal on 30 September 1915, to (paid) acting Lance Corporal on 30 December 1915, and promoted to Acting Corporal on 14 February 1916. His total service, till his death on 15 July 1916, was 4 years and 35 days.
ROYAL-SUSSEX-WW1-CYCLIST-BATTALION
The 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment was formed in 1912 and was one of 14 cyclist battalions at the start of WW1. They were part of the Territorial Force (TF), the volunteer reserve component of the army in existence from 1908-1920. The TF was seen as a home defence force, the cyclist battalions being employed largely on UK coastal defences. At the end of WW1, the TF was reformed and renamed the Territorial Army.
Like others in his battalion, Arthur did not see any service overseas, and at the time of his death, he was NCO in charge of the Lookout Station at Littlestone, Kent.
Arthur died, aged 21, in a bathing accident at Littlestone on 15 July 1916. Off duty, he went with Lance Corporal Frank Wooller in bathing costume and overcoat to the Littlestone front, near the lifeboat boathouse. According to witnesses, he was possibly not a good swimmer and probably fell off the landing stage in
to the water. An inquest recorded a verdict of accidental drowning.
Watch_House_Littlestone_c2008

Watch House Littlestone

Arthur John King is buried at Brighton City (Bear Rd) Cemetery, grave reference ZGV.55. He is also listed in the St Peters Memorial Book under Corporals and on St Johns Church Memorial, Preston Park. At the time of his death, his parents were living
at 24 Herbert Road, Brighton.

Private Clement Trill – Royal Sussex Regiment

Clement Trill, was a Private in the 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment (SD 2803). He fought at the Battle of the Boars Head at  Richebourg L’Avoué, on the 30th of June 1916 and died the next day on the 1st July 1916 of his injuries at the age of 29 years. Trill is buried at Merville Communal Cemetery, France.

Clement Trill’s Brother, Lance Corporal Charles Tower Trill, was in the 7th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. He too was killed in action during an attack on German positions at Ovillers on the Somme on 7th July 1916, aged 21 years. Lance Corporal Charles Tower Trill is Buried Ovillers Military Cemetery, France.

Family

Clement Trill was born in 1888 to Henry James Trill (born 1856 and died 1911) and Elizabeth Bardwell (died 1921). Henry and Elizabeth married in 1880 and lived in Brighton. They had seven children: Fredrick (b. 1881), Edith Maud (b. 1882), Dennis (b. 1884), Clement (b.1888) and Gertrude Eva (b. 1891), Florence (b. 1893) and Charles (b. 1902). In 1901 The family are recorded to be living in Chancellors Park in Keymer, Sussex.

 

Clement Trill married Violet Davies (born 1898). They had one son named Clement R. Trill who was born in Dartford in 1916. In 1939 Clement R. is recorded to be living with his mother Violet at 19B Madeira Place and his profession is stated as an electrician and plant maintenance person at Allen West.

Military career:

Clement enlisted in Brighton into the 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. The battalion crossed to Le Havre from Southampton on 5/6 March 1916. Clement’s regimental number is consecutive to that of Albury TURNER (SD 2804 – who was born in Coventry but whose family had returned to Brighton.  Albury Turner was presumed to have died at the Battle of Boar’s Head).

Clement was wounded at the Battle of Boar’s Head and died the following day of his wounds. The attack was frustrated by heavy machine gun fire from the Germans on to the left flank of the advance, and the fact that the smoke which was supposed to obscure the advance from the enemy’s sight drifted across no-man’s-land and made it virtually impossible for the men to see where they should be going and this caused confusion.  

The war diary for the battalion merely notes that casualties were “very heavy” and no estimate is given of how many men were killed or injured.  However, it was later reckoned that 360 men died and over 1100 were injured or missing hence “The Day Sussex Died”.

On the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Comprehensive Report it shows that Clement’s headstone gives his age, his regiment, date of death and the inscription “In ever loving memory from his wife and little son.”

He is commemorated on the Newick war memorial.

Post war:

Violet gave birth to their son, Clement, in the July to September quarter of 1916.  Violet does not appear to have remarried and died in Hove in 1956.  Clement Jr. married Daisy Edwards in 1940 and did not serve in the Second World War as he seems to have been in a reserved occupation whilst working at Allen West in Brighton.  In the 1939 record Clement is living at 19B Madeira Place and he is described as an “electrician and plant maintenance person”.

The other Trill boys:

Sadly Clement’s youngest brother, Charles died just six days after him and is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery.

Frederick Henry Trill also served and was apart of the Rhine Army. He married Florence Paul in 1972. Frederick died in Camden Town in 1957 and Florence died the following year.

Dennis Bardwell Trill also served with the Royal Sussex Regiment (G5757). He died in Brighton in 1958.

 

BRIGHTON & HOVE IN WWI – FREE COMMUNITY HISTORY DAY

Put a date in your diaries for this FREE event next week on Friday 30th June 11am-4.30pm at Jubilee Library, Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE.

Book your free place here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brighton-hove-in-wwi-free-event-day-tickets-34692314647

We have lots of speakers during the day including Dr Frank Gray (Screen Archive South East) showing Sussex in WWI film clips, Dr Chris Kempshall discussing East Sussex in WWI, Gateways to the First World War, Dr Alison Fellon Women Workers in WWI, and Dr Geoffrey Mead from the University of Sussex talking about Laundrey Maids and Fisherman in Brighton during WWI.

We’ll also have exhibitions in the main area, and a Q& A lunchtime session chaired by Dr Sam Carroll. You are welcome to drop in, or stay all day, and sit and eat your lunch whilst hearing more about this fascinating period of history with a Brighton perspective.

We are exhibiting our textiles from two projects  alongside a series of bespoke short films about the city in WWI (made by young filmmakers), for the BFESTBrighton Youth Festival starting on 28th May. This exhibition will continue until 4th July 2017.

Find out more about The Orange Lilies project here: https://theorangelilies.wordpress.com/

With support from project partners Fabrica Gallery, Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service, and Gateways to the First World War.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund