Lewes Heroes Remembered

Lewes Heroes Remembered

The lives of the 48 men from a single area of Lewes who perished in combat during The Great War have been painstakingly researched by Lewes historian Graham Mayhew.

Now in this centenary year of the conflict’s conclusion, Dr Mayhew will be presenting ‘Cliffe Casualties’ on Friday 5th October – an outline of those who courageously gave their lives for their country. The stories include that of the youngest, a 16 year-old boy, lost on the sailing barque Invermark which left Fremantle on 17 July 1915, sailing to Chile, and was never heard of again.

The names are all recorded on a fitting tribute at the remembrance altar in the Cliffe parish church of St Thomas a Becket. Their ages range from 16 to 58, including three from one family as the Bridger brothers perished in battle.

The first Cliffe life lost during WWI was that of George Hutson from the 2nd Royal Sussex regiment who died on 14th September, at Vendresse, aged 24. As the audience at the illustrated talk next month will hear, he was a twice bronze medal winner at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic.

Other fascinating facts will be revealed during the evening, including details of three Cliffe men who were among the 17 from Lewes killed in the disastrous attack by the 5th Royal Sussex at Richebourg on 9th May 1915. This turned out to be one of the worst days in the history of the regiment. “They were all territorials who had been in the Lewes Company 5th Royal Sussex and had been on their annual summer camp when war was declared and they were mobilised”, explains Graham. “One of them was John Thorpe, a member of Cliffe Bonfire Society.”

Tickets for the talk, priced just £5, are on sale at Lewes Town Hall, with all proceeds from the evening supporting the Cliffe church’s Weather Vane Appeal which seeks to restore the historic monument to its former glory, including new gold leaf on a structure which has been badly battered by the elements.

For further details…

Website: www.st-thomas-lewes.org.uk