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Permanent legacy will mark East Sussex role in First World War

Deadly new weapon: The secret chamber on the downs near Seaford trained troops to survive a gas attack. Image copyright Fred Varley, Canadian War Museum

Deadly new weapon: The secret chamber on the downs near Seaford trained troops to survive a gas attack. Image copyright Fred Varley, Canadian War Museum

A new website chronicles the role played by East Sussex during the First World War.

It has been launched by East Sussex County Council to coincide with Monday’s 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the conflict.

The site includes moving stories, evocative photographs and wartime ephemera showing how the war touched the lives of people in East Sussex, as well as details of events being held to mark the anniversary.

Members of the public, schools and history groups are encouraged to submit their own stories and memories and post details of events being held.

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said: “Because of its location and activities during the war, the boundary between the home front and war front was blurred in East Sussex more than anywhere else in Britain.

“The sound of the guns from France could regularly be heard from the Sussex coast and soldiers from around the world were stationed here, while East Sussex ports were used to ship out equipment and to accommodate wounded soldiers returning from the front.

“This website will act as a permanent legacy to ensure future generations will remember the vital role played by East Sussex and the tremendous sacrifices people here made for their country.”

The website, which includes details of First World War commemorative events being staged across the county, can be found at www.eastsussexww1.org.uk

Stories currently featured on the website include tales of:

EThe defences put in place to protect Sussex from invasion or Zeppelin attack

EHow Eastbourne provided a safe haven for Belgians fleeing the fighting in their country

EThe seaplane station at Newhaven which protected British transport ships from submarine attack

EHow the hills near Seaford sheltered a gas chamber to train troops to survive this new, deadly weapon

EThe German U-Boat which washed up on Hastings beach in April 1919

EHow images of the South Downs were incorporated into national wartime recruitment posters.

 

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