‘Forgotten’ chapel testament to sacrifice of the ‘Fifty-Five’

The Memorial Chapel and, right, pupils helping to dig the foundations
The Memorial Chapel and, right, pupils helping to dig the foundations

Fifty-five ‘Old Boys’ of Lewes County Grammar School for Boys died on active service in the Second World War’s theatres of conflict around the globe.

Their monument is the truly impressive Memorial Chapel in the grounds of Priory School, Lewes, dedicated in 1960 and believed to be the only officially sanctioned war memorial in any state school in Britain. However, over the years the chapel’s origins have been largely forgotten.

Now the epic and equally tragic story of the ‘Fifty-Five’ and the astonishing tale of dogged determination and perseverance behind the construction of the chapel are revived and are brought to vibrant life in a new book edited by Lewes writer David Arnold.

The book, ‘The Fifty-Five: A Story Set in Stone’, will be launched at the Lewes History Group meeting on Monday, March 12, with a presentation by David Arnold, John Davey and others, that evokes a world long gone but one that must never be forgotten.

Signed copies of the book will be on sale at the talk.

All are welcome at the King’s Church building in Brooks Road from 7pm for free refreshments and updates on the group’s activities. The talk will begin promptly at 7.30pm and will finish by 9pm.

There is an entry fee for these meetings, payable at the door, of £1 for members, and £3 for non-members.