Our exhibition is open to the public!

20170525_102209.jpgWe’ve just set up the textiles part of our BFEST 2017 Youth Arts exhibition at Jubilee Library in Brighton, exploring Brighton and Hove during the Somme, and made with young people, and artist Rosie James. It’s looking great!
 
We will also be showing the short films made with young people for The Orange Lilies project, and they should be operation from tomorrow.
 
The BFST festival last for a week and offers free activities across the city created by, with and for young people.
It starts with the launch on Saturday 27th May at The Level so come down and see the exhibition. It’s on until 4th July.
Advertisements

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.

Brighton & Hove in WWI – Free event day: Friday 30th June 2017

We welcome you to a free event day exploring Brighton and Hove during WWI and showcasing two related projects The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme (Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage), and The Boys on The Plaque (Fabrica gallery).
 
We’ve got a great series of speakers throughout the day, and a lunchtime Q & A session, so bring a packed lunch, grab a cup of tea from Temptations cafe in the library, hear some fascinating tales, and watch archive film footage of Brighton and Hove a hundred years ago.
 
There will also be a book launch for The Boys on the Plaque project, and an exhibition based at Jubilee Library for The Orange Lilies project.
 
The event is a drop in event, but welcome to come all day!
 
Free to attend, but please book a place: Brighton & Hove in WWI – Free event day

B&H in WWI event 30th June 2017

Brighton & Hove in WWI – Free event day

Free WWI Community history event marking the end of both The Orange Lilies – Brighton & Hove in the Somme, and The Boys on the Plaque projects; exploring Brighton & Hove in WWI.

& Launch of The Boys on the Plaque book

Venue: Jubilee Library, Brighton, 11am – 4.30pm – 30th June 2017

Speakers

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

With:

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: theorangelilies@gmail.com

Websites:

theorangelilies.wordpress.com

boysontheplaque.wordpress.com

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:

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

with support from

Heritage Lottery Fund

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.

Petition to create a Battle of Boars Head memorial in Brighton

cyril-at-lowthers-lambs-reunion-third-row-foruth-from-leftIf you’d like to see a memorial to those who served and fell at the Battle of Boars Head in World War I erected in Brighton and Hove, then please sign this petition by 12th December.

Link here: http://present.brighton-hove.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=526&RPID=17774783&HPID=17774783

 

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to The city of Brighton and Hove has this year commemorated those men who gave their all during the Battle of Boars Head but there is no permanent commemorative memorial specifically for this one day that had such a huge impact on the city. I wish to propose that a permanent memorial be erected, which will ensure that this event does not fade from public memory and ensure that the men are remembered in perpetuity.

This year has seen the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Boars Head, this largely unknown battle which had such an overwhelming effect on Sussex and the city of Brighton and Hove had faded into the forgotten past of public memory with only a few knowing about ‘The Day Sussex Died’. The number of men lost from the city were unknown and until this year the date was not commemorated in the city.

After recent research the number of men lost as a consequence of the battle is currently 62, this number is not fixed and may rise with further research.

 

This ePetition runs from 16/11/2016 to 14/12/2016.