War history book to raise funds for charity

Alan Brown and Vivienne Bowles have penned a book which commemorates all of the local soldiers killed in battle during World War One
Alan Brown and Vivienne Bowles have penned a book which commemorates all of the local soldiers killed in battle during World War One

A history group has published a book commemorating Wealden’s heroes to raise funds for a charity which helps soldiers injured at war.

The book ‘In Memory of our Heroes of the First World War’ by the Wartling Parish Local History Group also marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War One.

It covers nine parishes, and 18 villages in the surrounding area, commemorating each village’s lost heroes and includes fascinating sections such as a detailed background of the war and information about the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The book, penned by Alan Brown and Vivien Bowles on behalf of the history group, covers Herstmonceux, Boreham Street, Windmill Hill, Cowbeech, Penhurst, Brown Bread Street, Pevensey Bay, Hankham, and Stone Cross.

Alan Brown, from Wartling Parish Local History Group, said: “All the proceeds are being split three ways.

“Between the Wartling Church Building and Maintenance Fund, The Herstmonceux Church, and Help for Heroes.

“There are 250 pages with colour photographs on over 90 per cent of the pages.

“It costs just £14.95.”

Alan said the group had also produced a calendar for 2014 commemorating the area’s heroes.

The book pays tribute to several young soldiers from the area, including Percival Luck, from Wartling, who was killed in 1915 aged just 27. It also commemorates John Wilson Dale, from Herstmonceux, who died in 1917 aged 30.

The book says he was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, and a gravestone commemorates him in All Saints Church yard in Herstmonceux.

The book also features William George Gell, from Pevensey Bay, who died at home after the war on November 16 1918.

Authors Alan Brown and Vivien Bowles also give a fascinating history of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The book details how, tragically, 6,800 men were lost from the regiment during the First World War.

It also features parish news from the period including a section about Ninfield. One story reveals how a 14-year-old in 1918 was charged for stealing five duck eggs to the value of 1s and 8d. A farmer from Ninfield said a hen was sitting on 12 duck eggs in a hatch near his home. The boy was caught after trying to sell the duck eggs back to the owner. The news was taken from the Sussex Express archives.

The book, priced at £14.95, can be purchased from the group’s outlets, or direct from Alan at agbdesign.freeserve.co.uk, or telephone 01323 831754. The calendar is priced at £6.50.