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 Edgar Virgo

Arthur Edgar Virgo was born in Portslade in 1885,  his parents had been married for two years and had a daughter called Minne. Arthur’s fathers side came from a long line of Portslade residents dating back to around the late 18th century.

At the time of the 1891 census the family were living at 9 Elm Road. Today, it is listed as a three bedroom house however with the seven occupants at the time Arthur was living there it would have been cramped. Minnie was joined by brothers: Arthur and Lewis. They were joined by their widowed grand mother Charlotte and her son Edgar.

Arthur enlisted as a Private in Eastbourne  with the Royal Sussex Regiment- 12th Battalion. He died on the Rue de Bois on the 30th of June 1916. It is unclear if he was killed in action or died from his wounds. In the UK Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects  there is a handwritten entry in the ‘When and Where died’ sections states death presumed. This suggests his body and remains are unknown. 

1200px-dud_corner_cemetery-loos_memorial-2

Loos Memorial- Pas de Calais France.

Arthur is commemorated at Loos memorial (Panel reference 69-73 Stone number 72) and at the Church of St Nicholas in Portslade.

Albert Sambucci – A Brighton Italian fighting with the British

 Alberto Sambucci was born in Brighton in 1892 to parents, Philiomena and Loreto, who had emigrated from Italy. “He was married and had a son, Loreto, who was only two when his dad was killed. He also had a baby daughter, Philomena, who was born after his departure for France so he never saw her.”
Written account by Alberto’s grand daughter as published on: ‘The Wartime Memories Project – The Great War’
In 1891 the Sambucci family was living in 4 rooms at 16 Spa Street, Brighton. Spa Street was demolished in the late 1890s under a slum clearance scheme, and replaced by Tillstone Street, which runs from Park Hill at the bottom of Queen’s Park to Eastern Road. Sometime before 1901, the family moved to Ivory Court in Ivory Place, where Albert spent much of his life. Like other immigrants of Italian descent in Brighton, the Sambuccis set up an ice cream business.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the Sambucci family were living in 4 Ivory Court (listed as having 3 rooms). Albert was aged 19 and living with his two younger sisters, Clara (aged 13) and Nellie (aged 9). His mother is recorded has being head of the family and the father’s name is crossed through. This could indicate that he had died or was no longer living with the family, or in another house nearby, as other Sabuccis are listed on the same census on the same street (Ivory Court). There is also a Loreto Sambucci recorded as living in Lewes during the 1911 census too.

In 1911 the census form was completed by the residents of a property and later checked by an enumerator. Interestingly the form for 4 Ivory Court was completed and signed by Albert’s elder brother, Joseph Sambucci, who didn’t live there.  Joseph’s postal address beneath his signature isn’t clear. It looks like he wrote 2 Ivory Court and changed the “2” to a “4”. However, he was actually living close by at No 1. Ivory Court.  Why did Joseph fill in the form? Perhaps his parents weren’t literate or maybe their command of English wasn’t good enough and they required their eldest son to complete the form for them.

However, another strange feature of the 1911 census form is that Loreto’s name was crossed out in red by the enumerator and he was not included in the totals at the bottom of the form. This suggests that he wasn’t actually living on the premises and that maybe he had been included by mistake. Florrie was listed – again in red ink – as head of the family.

In fact the reason why Joseph completed the Census form for his mother and the explanation for Loreto’s absence is rather a startling one and can be found in London Daily News of March 25th 1911. The paper reported that Loreto had been charged with being drunk while in possession of a loaded revolver and he was sentenced to one month imprisonment. As the deadline for the Census return was 2nd April 1911, he would have been in prison when the Census was taken, which is why the enumerator would have crossed out his name.

Albert Sambucci birth
A previous census recorded Albert has having two older sibilings. His brother Joseph in 1911 Joseph ( aged 24) was living at 1 Ivory Court with his wife Blanche ( aged 22) and baby daughter Margareta (3 months).
His sister Mary (or maria) is not listed and must have had alternative lodgings. She married John Wilcox in 1921 and also lived at Ivory Place with her own family in the 1920’s.

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.

Ivory Place

Ivory Place, 1935, Copyright The Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton & Hove

Ivory Court was on 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 seems to have occupied several of the tenements in Ivory Court. No. 4, where Albert lived, only had 3 rooms, which, although not unusual at the time, may have made it a bit crowded. In 1911 Joseph was listed at living at No. 1 Ivory Court and Albert’s father, Loreto was listed in the 1901 Census and a 1902 street directory as variously living at number 2 and no 4 Ivory Court, so it is possible that, over time, the family rented several of the tenements in the court and spread themselves across the properties.
“Nobody moved into the area, because nobody moved out. Neighbours used to sit on the step and talk to passers by. This is why people didn’t want to move; the community was there. They married people who lived almost next door. The community feeling went when we were moved out to Whitehawk.” Carlton Hill Tea Party held at the Lewis Cohen Urban Studies Centre at Brighton Polytechnic May 25th 1984

Albert’s Marriage

In 1912 Albert married Virginia Panetta, from Lewes. Virginia was born in about 1895 in Italy but was now resident in the UK. She lived at 3 Malling Street with her Mother Maria Panetta, who was 40 years old in 1911 and head of the family. Virgina had a sister Emilia, who was 13 in 1911 and a brother Eugenie, who was 7; both of them went to school. Also living at the house was 61 year old Benedette Panetta, who is described as a general servant and domestic worker.

Interestingly Emilia was born in Dundee and Eugenie in Broughty Ferry (a suburb in Dundee), so the Panetta family must have moved down from Scotland in the previous 6-7 years. On the 1911 Census Maria and Virginia’s occupations were shown as “assisting in business”. Maria was also described as “employer” and the 1911 Kelly’s Sussex Street Directory lists her as a confectioner.

When Virginia married Albert she was 17 years old and he was 19 or 20. From Albert’s War Record it looks like they set up house at 3 Ivory Buildings, round the corner from his home in Ivory Court.

The Sambucci Family – Ice Cream Vendors

On the 1901 census Loreto Sambucci is recorded as being an ice cream vendor. On the 1911 census the family business continues to be listed as an Ice Cream Business. Albert and his mother Philiomena are listed as assisting in the business and Albert’s older brother Joseph as being an employer and ice cream manufacturer, and was possibly head of the business as a result of his fathers absence. The ice cream business is recorded as being run from home and the ice cream sold on the beach front.

“The penny capitalists

The 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

In the 19th century, ice cream manufacture was simplified with the introduction of the ice cream machine in 1843 in both England and America. This consisted of a wooden bucket that was filled withice and salt and had a handle which rotated. The central metal container, containing the ice cream was surrounded the salt and ice mixture. This churning produced ice cream with an even, smooth texture.
Previously it was made in a pewter pot kept in a bucket of ice and salt and had to be regularly hand stirred and scraped from the side of the pewter pots with a ‘spaddle’ which is a sort of miniature spade on a long handle.
The key factor in the manufacture of ice cream was ice. Where was it to come from? In the early 19th century importation of ice started from Norway, Canada and America, this made ice cream readily available to the general public in the UK. Ice was shipped into London and other major ports and taken in canal barges down the canals, to be stored in ice houses, from where it was sold to ice cream makers.
This burgeoning ice cream industry, run mainly by Italians, started the influx of workers from southern Italy and the Ticino area of Switzerland to England.In London they lived in the most appalling conditions in and around the Holborn area. The huge ice house pits built near Kings Cross by Carlo Gatti in the 1850s, where he stored the ice he shipped to England from Norway, are still there and have recently been opened to the public at The London Canal Museum.
BTNBeachIceCreamVendor

A photograph taken on Brighton’s seafront near the  Free Shelter Hall around 1910 showing a woman holding a child and offering “pure ices” and ice cream from a barrow. On the sides of the barrow are painted the words “Pure Ices” and “Hokey Pokey” ice cream.

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

Albert Sambucci enlisted in the Royal Sussex 11th Battalion for a three year term, or until the end of the war, in September 1914 in Hove, East Sussex. In records, he is listed as both L/Cpl Albert Sambucci  and also as Private Sambucci in TheyservedWiki & the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) with either of these enlistment numbers:  SD/3144 or 3444.  Most sources agree SD3444 in the Royal Sussex Regiment – 11th Battalion.
He died in June 1916 at the age of 23 in the run up to The Battle of Boar’s Head at Richebourg, and The Somme, it is not know how he died. He is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension  (Grave/Memorial Reference N.42)
Burial place of Sambucci

“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

At one time, the village of Cambrin housed brigade headquarters but until the end of the FirstWorld War, it was only about 800 metres from the front line trenches. The village contains two cemeteries used for Commonwealth burials; the churchyard extension, taken over from French troops in May 1915, and the Military Cemetery “behind the Mayor’s House.” The churchyard extension was used for front line burials until February 1917 when it was closed,but there are three graves of 1918 in the back rows.
The extension is remarkable for the very large numbers of graves grouped by battalion, the most striking being the 79 graves of the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and 15 of the 1st Cameronians (Row C), the 35 of the 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers and 115 of the 1st Middlesex (Row H), all dating from 25 September 1915, the first day of the Battle of Loos.
Cambrin Churchyard Extension contains 1,211 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 8 being unidentified. There are also 98 French, 3 German
and 1 Belgian burials here. The cemetery was designed by Charles Holden.

Minnie Turner – Suffragette talk at Brighton Museum this week

The free talk we have organised for both The Orange Lilies project and The Boys on the Plaque WWI project is this Friday 12th May at Brighton Museum. 
Meet at the entrance to the museum
 
The Orange Lilies project is lucky to be having an illustrated talk at Brighton Museum this week about the famed Minnie Turner, a Brighton suffragette in the lead to and during WWI.
This will include looking at original suffragette local Brighton objects from a 100 years ago, as it will be a private event for us, with gallery enactor Karen Antoni.
This is a great way for  project researchers to find out more about the home front in Brighton and Hove during our project period (1916 and the Somme). you can read more about Minnie here: https://theorangelilies.wordpress.com/blog/
The talk takes place at Brighton Museum on Friday 12th May 1-4pm. FREE. Meet at the museum entrance.
Please RSVP to theorangelilies@gmail.com

Lewes History Group talk on the Southdowns Battalions in WWI: Monday 8 May 2017

Chris Kempshall: Lowther’s Lambs and the Boar’s Head

The nature and events of the Battle of the Somme have seen it become a byword for loss and tragedy in regards to the First World War.
However, the planning and implementation of the assault, then the biggest effort the British army had ever undertaken, began in the counties and towns of Britain in 1914. The disastrous first day of the Somme also overshadowed other tragedies in the lead up to zero hour.
Dr Chris Kempshall will discuss the route men from Lewes and East Sussex took from joining the Royal Sussex Regiment as ‘Lowther’s Lambs’ to the moment they went over the top on the 30th June 1916 at the Boar’s Head.
He will place the events leading up to the Battle of the Somme in both local and international context. Through this he will show how, to try and ensure success on the first day of the Somme, many soldiers gave their lives on ‘The Day that Sussex Died’.

Lowther's Lambs
Image courtesy of the East Sussex WW1 Project
All are welcome from 7.00pm for free refreshments and updates on the Group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7:30pm and will finish by 9.00pm.
There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £2 for members, and £3 for non-members.
Venue: The King’s Church building on Brooks Road, Lewes, BN7 2BY. (Between Tesco car park and Homebase)
See the Meetings page for a list of  forthcoming monthly talks organised by the Lewes History Group.

Patrick Francis Langton – A Hove Private Remembered

20161108_110128.jpgPatrick Francis Langton , born in 1897 in Teddington Surrey, was a bricklayer living at 6 Hove Street in Hove, East Sussex, before becoming a Private in the  Royal Sussex  12th Battalion  39th Division (service number SD/2370).

He died at The Battle of Boar’s Head at Ferme Du Bois France,  the deadliest battle for the Royal Sussex Battalion, on the 30th of June 1916, also known as ‘the day that Sussex died’. Patrick Francis was 19.

George St HoveFAMILY  LIFE

At the time of the 1911 census, Patrick Francis’ parents, John Langton (50 years old), a Cycle Engineer, and his Mother Ada E. Langtono (37 years old) are recorded to have been married for 14 years with three children.

Patrick Francis was the eldest at 13 years of age at the time of the census, followed by his sister Madge at 11 years and brother Fredrick at 9 years.

The family is recorded to have worshiped at All Saints Church Hove Sussex (parish records not available). Patrick Francis is not recorded to have married.

All Saint Church, Hove circa 1910

All Saints Church, Hove, circa 1910

MILITARY CAREER

Private Langton was posthumously awarded The Victory Medal and The  British War Medal. He enlisted in the British Army on 15 March 1915 in Hove Sussex.

Soldiers at one of the many camps accross sussex

Soldiers at a Sussex Camp

On 1st November 1915 the 39th Division moved from Aldershot to Whitley Camp to complete its training. Rifles were issued in January 1916 following which the infantry began musketry courses and during February the artillery carried out gunnery practice on Salisbury Plain. (War Records)

Royal Sussex Regement in Training

Sussex Regiment in Training

 

The following extracts depict the events of The Battle of Boar’s Head that lead to Patrick Francis’ death.

The  12th battalion war diary reads:

‘On 29th June 1916 ‘Two companies marched for Richburg and Vielle Chapelle and joined the  rest of battalion in  the front line  at Ferme Due Bois.  (The Battle of Boar’s Head)  Artillery bombarded enemy trenches from 2pm to 5pm. 12th Battalion attacked enemy front and support  lines and succeeded in entering same. 

The support  line was occupied for about half hour and the front line for four hours. The withdrawal was necessitated by the supply of bombs and ammunition giving out  by heavy enemy barrage on our front line and communication trenches preventing reinforcement being sent forward.’

12th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment

12th Bn Royal Sussex Regiment (image credited to Paul Reed)

Operation orders were  attached to  the diary. The battalion was relieved by the 14th Hants at 10am and marched to Les Lobes after resting at Richburg.

Battle of Boars Head

Lieunant Frank Walter Moyel wrote on the ICRC INDEX CARD for Private Langton: ‘At 3am on June 30th June 1916 some minutes before the attack. The bay Private Langton occupied with [text illegible] was blown in with bombs and heavy artillery – this I  saw myself, as I was  in the next bay. We had to go forward. I did not see him after.’

The concentration report attached to Private 4975 Earnest Leonard Mepham  states: ‘The British uncovered a mass grave containing 84 Unknown British Soldiers and 5 Unknown British Officers who all died on 30th June 1916′

An unnamed soldier of  12TH Battlalion from Eastbourne  gave an eye witness report:

We paraded  to go over the top the next morning. We said the Lord’s Prayer with our chaplain who addressed a few words to us and gave us a blessing. All night we  were hard at work cutting the barbed wire in front and carrying out bridges to put over a big ditch in front of our parapet. 

The time we went over,   guns started a terrible bombardment of the enemy’s trenches..  As soon as this  started the enemy sent up a string of red  lights  as a signal to his own  guns. I got a fragment of shell on the elbow about five minutes before our men went over… They blew our trenches right in, in several  places’

MEMORIAL

Patrick is Commemorated alongside the other Hove Residents who Fell during The Great War on The Hove War Memorial, the Hove Library Great War Memorial, and the All Saints Church Memorial plaque, the same church his family is recorded to have frequented.

 

P. F. Langton All Saints Church Hove Memorial

WW1 Memorial Plaque from All Saints Church, Hove, East Sussex

Patrick Francis is also commemorated on The Loos Memorial:

‘Private Langton SD 2370 12TH Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment. 39th Division. Killed in action on the RUE De Bois 30th June 1916 son of John and Ada Langton of 6 Hove Street Hove. Born Teddington and enlisted in Hove.’

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IN CONCLUSION

Every Man Remembered  writes:

‘Patrick was one of the many casualties in the unsuccessful attack by the 116th. Brigade on The Boar’s Head, near the Rue De Bois at Richebourg. It was a hastily planned action designed to distract the Germans from the main Somme Offensive on 1st. July 1916. A staggering total of 135 of Patrick’s Comrades from the Battalion also Fell on this day’.

In more recent times the following post on the ‘Great War Forum’ in January  2016  records the discovery of Patrick Frances’ ‘death penny’:

‘A very surprising discovery for me at the Ankara Antika Pazari today.  I discovered a ‘death penny’ for Private Patrick Frances Langton. CD 2370. This is the first example I have ever seen here. The only  information from the dealer was that he picked it up some years go on sale in Ankara. I don’t collect these, but I found that could not simply walk by and accept the idea of it just sitting there, and so I bought it…’

This research was completed by Veronica Wright of The Orange Lilies project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sussex Great War memoir, 1914-1917

A memoir of a soldier serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment in France during WWI was found at the West Sussex Record Office archive recently. This is the diary of Raplh Ellis an Arundel man who was also an accomplished artist.

If you’d like to find out more, you can visit the archive to see it in Chichester in person, or through the link online:

The access details for the folder is as follows:

Add Mss 25001-25006

56-add-ms-25003-f-12v
Chosen by Sue Hepburn, researcher
In five manuscript volumes and an edited typed text, entitled ‘A March with the Infantry’, the memoirs of Ralph Ellis are a powerful and compelling record of the life of a soldier serving in the Royal Sussex Regiment on the Western Front in the Great War.
add-ms-25003-f-18vEllis, an artist and inn-sign painter, lived in my home town of Arundel, which sparked my initial interest. I focused on the memoir for my Masters dissertation, placing it within the context of such well-known memoirs as those of Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.
On further study of Ellis’ memoir I discovered an account of the Great War rich with keen observation and vivid description. The memoir begins with a series of sketches of Ellis’ comrades and of his surroundings in France and later he adds watercolours of the views from his observation post across no man’s land.
However, as the conflict develops, his artistic talents no longer seem adequate to portray the full horror of his experiences and he increasingly employs graphic prose to describe what he sees, hears, and smells.
add-ms-25004-f-08r-remains-of-a-small-wood
This is a very personal account that resonates with the experiences of others, but lacks any of the disillusionment and bitterness for which they are known. A century later Ellis’ memoir enhances our understanding of what it was like to fight in the trenches and is valuable evidence of the experience of war.
add-ms-25003-f-26r

Cyril Flower Martindale

patricia cyril-at-lowthers-lambs-reunion-third-row-foruth-from-left

Very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet Patricia Reed recently, the daughter of Cyril Flower Martindale who served with The Royal Sussex Regiment as part of the former Southdowns battalion (also known as Lowther’s Lambs) at the Battle of Boar’s Head. Although born in Watford, he grew up in Brighton and lived there apart from during WWI and WWI all his life.

This key battle, taking place on 30th June 1916 (the day before the start of the Somme) was also known as The Day Sussex Died, a diversionary battle to disguise plans for The Somme offensive which went horribly wrong, and left many hundreds of Sussex men dead or injured on the same day.

Cyril was injured with shrapnel at the battle and taken to hospital to recuperate, which meant that he didn’t then participate in the Battle of the Somme, something which is daughter feels was actually what saved his life.

Cyril instead was transferred in 1917 on the “Good Ship” Carrissima along with other Royal Sussex men to India to Karachi to quell fighting in tribal lands, and possibly for the third Anglo Afghan war. He then spent the rest of WWI in the Indian Subcontinent – now Pakistan, along with visits to Deolali, and the Indian seaside resort of Clifton Sands.

Demobbed in 1920, Cyril lived a long life, and carefully kept all the Lowther’s Lambs photos, reunion invitations and writings, along side his documents for his ongoing participation in World War II.

cyril-martindales-papers-and-photos

Cyril attended every single annual memorial of the Southdowns regiment and kept each of the programmes complete with poems by noted poet Edmund Blunden who also fought with the Royal Sussex, along with other documents.

Sussex and Flanders poem 1938 - E Blunden in R Sussex anniversary meet programme.JPG

Cyril married Ethel (above) from Watford a shop girl in the West End of London in the mid 1920s and they remained married until she died eight years before him at the beginning of the 1970s. Their only daughter Patricia still lives in Brighton.

His daughter remembers him as a happy man and good father who lived until the late 1970s. Until the end, she said she could still feel the shrapnel in his arm from that fateful day in 1916.

patricia-reed-c-martindale-daughter

All images with kind permission of Patricia Reed.

FREE: Outing to The Day Sussex Died exhibition, Eastbourn

Cyril.JPGTomorrow our project group will be going on  trip to the Redoubt Fortress in Eastbourne to find out more about the Battle of Boars Head (linked to The Orange Lilies project), where On just one fateful day in June 1916 in Richebourg, France, over 1000 men from Sussex were wounded or killed. https://www.facebook.com/events/903400313139490/

We are leaving in a minibus from Brighton and have a couple of spaces still for this trip, so please get in touch if you’d like to attend too: theorangelilies@gmail.com

See the new recruits marching out of Eastbourne station and uncover the disastrous tales of soldiers like Albert Thomas Hendley, a baker from Willingdon who returned on leave to make his wedding cake and was tragically killed just a month before his wedding. Be moved and inspired by their stories in For Hearth, Home and Honour.

Venue – Redoubt Fortress, Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7AQ

This is part of The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme project:https://theorangelilies.wordpress.com/events/

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and in partnership with:

Fabrica gallery, Gateways to the First World War project, and Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service

Images courtesy of Patricia Reed, of her father Cyril Flower Martindale who served at The Battle of Boars Head

From the Somme to Brighton: the stories of two ‘Pavilion Blues’

Pav-Blues-cartoon.jpgJo Palache, researcher for ‘Pavilion Blues: Disability and Identity’ at Brighton Museum, shares the tales of two of the amputees who were treated at the Pavilion Military Hospital and discusses how their individual stories helped her learn more about the lives of the patients at the hospital.

FREE: Outing to Pavilion Blues: Disability and Identity exhibition, Brighton Museum. This takes place on 12th October 10-12pm. From 1916 to 1920 over 6,000 military amputees were treated at the Royal Pavilion, Dome and Corn Exchange in Brighton.

To commemorate this centenary, the story of the Pavilion Military Hospital for limbless soldiers is being told in the current exhibition, Pavilion Blues: Disability & Identity, at Brighton Museum. Researcher Jo Palache will talk about the stories behind it and her own project research.

This talk will take place in the Museum Lab, and will involve an illustrated talk on the hospital and this time, as well as giving some background, on the individual stories of Albert Clay and George Fulkes.  Both fought on the Somme, although Albert was wounded later. We’ll also look at how the group can use the magazines to find out about soldiers who fought on the Somme.

Even if you have already visited the Pavilion Blues exhibition already, this event will approach the theme from a different angle so will offer new and nuanced information for visitors.

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1090427137716975/

In association with the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

Venue – Brighton Museum, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE