Eastbourne retro: See pictures from the Sussex convalescent camp which treated 150,000 soliders

During the First World War, Eastbourne was home to Summerdown Camp – a convalescent camp for wounded soldiers.

In 2015, an exhibition at the Pavilion, Royal Parade, revealed the history of the first of three purpose-built convalescent camps across the UK, which opened up in the town in 1915.

The exhibition ran for six months to commemorate the centenary of the camp and told stories of ‘Blueboys’ – a nickname for the soldiers in care due to their coloured uniform.

During their stay, they became a familiar sight around Eastbourne and brought ho me the realities of war, as well as some much welcomed patriotic cheer to the town’s residents.

By 1919, the camp had treated about 150,000 soldiers.

It was dismantled in 1920 and most of the land has been redeveloped into housing estates.

Pictures courtesy of Eastbourne Heritage Service.

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