No date. French Field Gun The 75
No date. French Field Gun The 75

Postcards from the First World War, from a serving Eastbourne soldier

Eastbourne was less affected by the First World War than it was by the conflict that was to cause extensive damage and loss of life some twenty years later, writes local historian, John Wilton.

By Julia Northcott
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:03 pm

However, between 1914 and 1920, war came to the town.

From 1915 to 1920 Summerdown Military Convalescent Camp was located in the area now occupied by Compton Drive, Old Camp Road and Pashley Road.

The camp housed up to 3,500 troops, known as Blue Boys, who were allowed out of the camp after lunch and enjoyed time in the town.Many residents of the town served in the armed forces - mainly in the Army.

They sent letters and postcards home to wives, children, girlfriends family members and friends.

The postcards they used were those available where they were serving.

Many French cards were of local views and showed life before the start of hostilities.

Others showed war damage and some were sentimental cards specially produced for the troops to send home.

During the war years the names of the towns featured on the cards were erased by the censor in case the cards fell into the hands of the enemy.One of the men who used postcards to send messages home was George Burton, a soldier serving in France and Belgium.

These cards, obtained locally, were sent between June15,1916 and May 8,1919 to his wife Mrs. B Burton,87 Ashford Road, Eastbourne, Sussex.• If you have some photographs and a local story that you would like to share with us, please email [email protected] We’d love to share your pictures both in print and online.

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