Uckfield soldier’s story filmed for BBC TV


A TV film crew visited Holy Cross Church, Uckfield last Tuesday to interview Donna French who bought medals awarded to Uckfield World War I soldier, Albert Corden.

Town councillor Donna French found the medals online and bought them thanks to contributions from other townspeople. Now a cutting of an article from the Sussex Express, published on August 4, 1916 has been discovered by Su Turley who found it in the British Newspaper Archive. Donna French said: “It’s amazing to put a face to the story but sad at the same time.”

The article described how Pte Corden was wounded by a bullet which struck while he was working in an advanced trench. It said the missile had entered his right side and passed out of his back, ‘happily without injuring the spine.’ It went on to describe how his parents had received two cards from him, written at the 2nd Western Hospital, Manchester, “from which it is hoped that he is progressing towards recovery.” He had already seen a good deal of fighting and was wounded twice - at The Somme in 1916 and afterwards at Beersheba. Sadly Pte Corden died in hospital in Brighton on December 15, 1918.

Donna French told presenters how she had found the medals, awarded to Albert Corden, on eBay. Her descriptions of her find had sparked offers of donations which enabled the medals to be bought for the town. Both were awarded the year after his death; the British War Medal on July 16, 1919 and the Victory Medal on September 1, 1919.

They also spoke to Holy Cross verger Angela Noel who talked about Remembrance.

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