The Battle of the Boar's Head service in Worthing on June 30, 2020. Picture: Steve Robards SR2006302

Worthing service commemorates The Day that Sussex Died

Wreaths were laid in Worthing today to commemorate the 104th anniversary of the Battle of the Boar’s Head, known as The Day that Sussex Died. Veterans were among the gathering at the dedicated memorial in Beach House Park for the annual service, including two minutes’ silence. Worthing mayor Lionel Harman laid a wreath with the message: “Time will not diminish our gratitude for those that sacrificed everything so we may enjoy our tomorrows.” Ian Newman, who organised the service, laid a wreath on behalf of the Lewes branch of the Royal Sussex Regiment Association and Sid Hunt laid a wreath on behalf of Worthing Veterans Association.

By Elaine Hammond
Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 1:28 pm

Mr Newman said: “Twenty-one Worthing men died at Boar’s Head. Three brothers died that day, what a tragedy for one father.” He read the Wraiths of Morning poem, words spoken at the final reunion meeting of the Southdown Battalions Association on May 12, 1979. Andrew Byford, who was a Colour Sergeant in the Queen’s Regiment, read the exhortation and the words of the Kohima Epitaph.

The Battle of the Boar’s Head took place during the First World War at Richebourg-l’Avoué in France. It was planned on June 30, 1916, as a diversionary action to make the German Command believe this area of the Pas de Calais was the one chosen for the major offensive of the year. Soldiers from the Royal Sussex Regiment led the attack and the battle lasted less than five hours. The South Downs Brigade lost 17 officers and 349 men, the 13th Battalion being all but wiped out. More than 1,000 were wounded or taken prisoner.

After the service, Mr Newman said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming to remember the guys who died at Richebourg in 1916, the day before the Somme.”

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