Book recounts bloody battles

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Battleground Sussex, A Military History of Sussex from the Iron Age to the Present Day.

A BLOW-BY-BLOW account of the bloody Battle of Lewes, the strategic importance of Pevensey Castle and an intriguing description of the elite Lewes Home Guard cavalry composed of more than 50 mounted members including jockeys, huntsmen and landowners....just a few of the delights described in a new book tracing the the county’s military history.

Authors John Grehen and Martin Mace have mustered little-known historical facts about the county’s role in the front line in Battleground Sussex, published by the Yorkshire-based Pen and Sword Books.

It covers the complete history of Sussex from the Iron age to the present day telling the story of one county from the earliest days of recorded history through to the dark days of World War II.

The book contains plenty of illustrations and descriptions of where to find buildings, castles and invasion or battle sites that should keep the adventurous family occupied throughout the summer.

For example, did you know in deepest Middle Wood Moat at Waldron there is a Norman ringwork comprising a deep circular ditch with strong inner and outer banks. I walk there, Googled the site and was amazed to find it could have housed a moated castle.

King Alfred, King of Wessex fought the Vikings to a standstill and it was at West Dean, three miles from Alfriston (Alfred’s Tun) that he is believed to have set up one of his courts.

Fascinating facts like these are piled high. From the days of the Celts, Romans and Saxons to the Battle of Hastings; from the dawn of democracy to the English Civil War; from Napoleon to Hitler, Battleground Sussex explains how the county’s proximity to mainland Europe has underpinned several millennia of armed a rebellious spirit which persists today.

Battleground Sussex costs £19.99 and is available from good bookshops or the publishers direct at: 01226 734241, ISBN number: 9781848846616

Susan King