LADIES GROUP: Sadly Bakula, who lives in the village, had to cancel her Indian food evening due to a bereavement in the family. We send our condolences to her and to her sister. A sudden backstop had to be made and Jill Burt organised a beetle drive. I was very sceptical but went along to support the group and was delighted to come away from the evening after laughing so much. How can very mature women make so much hilarious noise and have so much competitiveness between them. It was fun and I am glad I attended. Next month, April 10, Bob Faulkner is returning this time to talk about Old Films.

ANOTHER COLD SPELL: I was thwarted at the weekend after preparing the allotment ready for sewing some seeds. I tell myself another week will not hurt, and they will catch up, but frustrating.

Returning from Brighton last Friday I was intrigued to see a large group of people surrounding the war memorial in the Old Steine. I made enquiries and was told that a Blue Plaque was being unveiled by the Lord Lieutenant in honour and memory of second lieutenant Ernest Beal who died 100 years ago. I gathered the following information from the internet. Ernest Beal was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Beal was 35 years old, serving in the Yorkshire Regiment during the first World War and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 21/22 March 1918 at St Leger, France for most conspicuous bravery and determined leading when in command of a company detailed to occupy a certain section of trench. When the company was established, it was found that a considerable gap of about 400 yards existed between the left flank of the company and the neighbouring unit, and that this gap was strongly held by the enemy. It was of vital importance that the gap should be cleared, but no troops were then available. Organising a small party of less than a dozen men, he led them against the enemy. On reaching an enemy machine gun. 2nd Lt Beal immediately sprang forward, and with his revolver killed the team and captured the gun. Continuing along the trench he encountered and dealt with another machine gun in the same manner, and in all captured four enemy guns, and inflicted severe casualties. Later in the same, when a wounded man had been left in the open under heavy enemy fire, he, regardless of danger, walked up close to an enemy machine gun and brought in the wounded man on his back. 2nd Lt Beal was killed by a shell on the following morning.

What has this got to do with Falmer? Nothing but the bravery of this man and many others must be recognised and remembered.

What matters that my bus had to be diverted because they were marching to place another blue plaque on the house in Lewes Road where he lived.