Categories
Uncategorized

WW2 Kingston Near Lewes Presentation – 1918-1940

Just twenty years after the Great War, the war to end all wars, a Second World War was declared.

The content of this presentation is intended to illustrate the influences of military activities associated with WW2 on the people of Kingston near Lewes, for a proposed V.E. commemoration later this year. This is very much a work in progress. It will be updated as and when I have time to do so…

I am very much aware that the bite sized statements which go with the slides tell only partial truths. This is merely a quick overview. I have included some links for those who may wish to read further. Further links will be added when I have time to do so. Please feel free to give comments below.


1918 – Origins of WW2

WW1 memorial plaque, St Pancras Church, Kingston near Lewes
WW1 memorial plaque, St Pancras Church, Kingston near Lewes.

The origins of WW2 lie largely with WW1.


1926 – General Strike

Guy Woodman, Balsdean farmer, at the Batle of Lewes Road, Brighton, 1926
Guy Woodman, Balsdean farmer, at the Batle of Lewes Road, Brighton, 1926. © Woodman family, Mercer Collection.

Times were hard after WW1 – war costs money. Guy Woodman, Balsdean Farmer, performing what he believed to be his patriotic duty, at the Battle of Lewes Road, in Brighton, 1926.


1932 – Future War – “The bomber will always get through”

This is part of Stanley Baldwin’s speech to parliament:

Up to the time of the last War,
civilians were exempt from the worst perils of war…
but now… they suffer from the fear,
not only of being killed themselves, but,
what is perhaps worse for a man,
the fear of seeing his wife and children killed from the air.

Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin. By Walter Stoneman – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ggbain.35233. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, Link

1933 – Hitler gains power

Punch cartoon of Hitler, 1933
Punch cartoon of Hitler, on the occasion of his coming to power in 1933. © Punch Limited. cropped by myself.

Lewes burnt Hitler’s effigy that bonfire night.


1935 – Lewes started implementing Air Raid Precautions

Air Raid Precautions Handbook 2, Home Office publication, 1935
Air Raid Precautions Handbook 2, Home Office publication, 1935. © WorthPoint

In 1935 Lewes started implementing air raid precautions, following government instructions.


1936 – Alexander Korda’s film:

The introduction to Alexander Korda’s 1936 epic film – Things to Come – encapsulated the feelings of terror for a future war. It was not a box office success!


1938 – Munich Crisis

Pathe Newsreel footage of the Munich Crisis, 1938.


1830-1942 – Newmarket Farm

Watercolour of Newmarket Farm by Bob Phipps
Watercolour of Newmarket Farm, painted from memory by Bob Phipps, in about 2010.

Newmarket Farm, was part of the Kingston Estate, far over the downs on Newmarket Hill. A farm labourer’s cottage and barns. In the 1920’s it became part of Balsdean Farm.


1920’s – Balsdean Hamlet

Balsdean Hamlet. (Photo: Part of the Holland, Mercer collection).
Balsdean Hamlet. (Photo: Part of the Holland, Mercer collection).

1934-1938 – Phipps family of Newmarket Farm

Phipps family children; Bob (Desmond), Lucy, Sylvia
Phipps family children; Bob (Desmond), Lucy, Sylvia. Photographed just after the war.

In 1934 the Phipps family worked for Balsdean farmers Woodman and Dalgety, and lived in Newmarket Farm. When their father lost his job in 1938, they lost their home. It was a tied cottage.

This video was made as part of the Woodingdean Then and Now Project. It has been edited by myself.


1939, September 9th – War


1939 Register – Balsdean & Norton

September 1939 Register for Norton and Balsdean.
September 1939 Register for Norton and Balsdean.

The 1939 Register was taken at the start of the war for the issuing for ration cards, call up papers, etc. Listed here are the Auerbach family – German Jewish refugees, working for board and lodgings for the Balsdean farmer.


1939 – Auerbachs in Balsdean

The Auerbach family farm in Austria.
The Auerbach family farm in Austria.

The Auerbachs moved to Austria in 1933 when Hitler came to power. Their story is both tragic and heroic. I hope to post what they generously shared with me soon. They moved to Balsdean shortly before the war.


1939 – Peter, Ruth and Michael Auerbach

Peter, Ruth and Michael Auerbach, early 1939, before leaving for England.
Peter, Ruth and Michael Auerbach, early 1939, before leaving for England.

1939 – War!


1939 – Black Outs

Before the war all local authorities had to test their blackout capabilities. This included Woodingdean. Its effectiveness was tested using spotter planes. The blackout caused many civilian and military deaths on the roads. Preventative methods were proposed.


1939 September-1940 May – Bore War

The German Siegfried Line is shown in red. The French Maginot Line is shown in blue. Image from Wikipedia.
The German Siegfried Line is shown in red. The French Maginot Line is shown in blue. Image from Wikipedia.

1939 September-1940 May – French Maginot Line

Maginot Line complex.
Maginot Line complex.

Maginot line - as imagined for propaganda purposes.
Maginot line – as imagined for propaganda purposes.

There are many such extraordinary, futuristic drawings of France’s underground defence complexes which were part of the Maginot Line. These drawings were made for the general public and used for propaganda purposes.


1939 September-1940 May – British Expeditionary Force – Training

The British Army training at Salisbury.
British Army training in Salisbury, 1939. Photograph from IWM.

Training hadn’t changed much since WW1 – hence the trench digging – with the main exception of air defences.


1940, May 10 – Battle of France

Everything changed in May 1940.


1940, May 26-June 4 – Dunkirk

Newhaven was the main port for hospital casualties from Dunkirk.


May 1939 – Evacuation from Dunkirk


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s