Categories
Uncategorized

WW2 Kingston Near Lewes Presentation – 1940-1945

After Dunkirk, everything changed. The Sussex coast was threatened by invasion. Evacuees were evacuated, to be replaced by British and Canadian soldiers.

1940, May – Home Guard

These Local Defence Volunteers were (probably) the East Brighton Home Guard Platoon, on a training exercise between Ovingdean and Woodingdean.


1940, May – Lewes Cossacks

British Movietone Newsreel of the 16th (Lewes) Home Guard Battalion (aka the Lewes Cossacks). Mr Arthur W. J. Dalgety, Master of the Southdown Hunt and one of the two Balsdean farmers who employed my mother’s family, was part of the battalion.


1940, May – Rodmell Auxilliary Unit

Stewart Angell's Secret Sussex Resistance book - the best resource on the Sussex Auxiliary units.
Stewart Angell’s Secret Sussex Resistance book – the best resource on the Sussex Auxiliary units.

The Auxilliaries were specially chosen volunteers – mostly local farmers with previous military experience. There job was to become Britain’s top secret underground resistance force if Germany invaded. They were predicted to have a life expectancy of just two weeks.

The Rodmell Unit covered the block of downs between Newhaven – Lewes (E. of R. Ouse) – Falmer (S. of Lewes Rd) – Rottingdean (E. of Falmer Rd).

  • Patrol Leaders:
    • Guy Woodman (Balsdean), May – Sept 1940
    • Frank Dean (Rodmell), Oct 1940 – Nov 1944
  • Other members:
    • Wilfred Beagly
    • Lesley Coustick
    • Cliff Pettit
    • Algernon Potter
    • Harry Gregory
    • Tom Carr

The other branch of the Auxilliaries were responsible for intelligence work. Harold West of Upper Bevendean Farm volunteered for this responsibility across the same downs.


1940, July 10th – October 31st – Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain as illustrated by Paul Nash, 1941. From IWM.
Battle of Britain as illustrated by Paul Nash, 1941. From IWM.

My father said that such aerial acrobatics were enthralling to watch as a teenager.


1940, July – Flame Fougasse defences

Flame fougasse defences were developed by the Department of Petroleum Warfare in July 1940. They were installed on the Ashcombe Lane, on both sides of its crossing with Kingston Ridge/ Juggs Road. Peter Hibbs has written about them. They were frightening weapons, designed to slow a German advance.


1941, June 22nd – Germany Invades Russia – Russia becomes our ally

Our enemy’s enemy is our friend. As a result of Germany opening a new Eastern Front, the threat of invasion was reduced but not eliminated.


1941, July – Battle Drill

By 1941 a new type of training was introduced. It was designed be as close to real battlefield experiences as possible – live ammunition was used. This resulted in casualties, including fatalities.


1941, July 9th – Mustard Gas firing exercise

Three unexploded gas bombs found, July 1941.
Three unexploded gas bombs found, July 1941.

Exercise Exodus was a mustard gas firing training exercise in the Balsdean / Castle Hill area. Winston Churchill had ordered the use of mustard gas if Germany attempted to invade. This would have broken the Geneva Gas Protocol which we signed in 1925. Hopefully these gas ‘bombs’ were empty. My mother’s family were living just one kilometre from where they landed! The training was organised by the Fourth (British) Chemical Warfare Regiment for Canadian officers who had recently arrived in East Sussex.

Mustard Gas bombs from the 9th July 1941 exercise were still turning up after WW2.
Mustard Gas bombs being loaded into Livens projectors during WW1.
Mustard Gas bombs being loaded into Livens projectors during WW1.

The gas bombs were fired from Livens projectors. These were hollow metal cylinders with a propellant charge at its base. They were buried in a hole in the ground, about 2 feet deep. On the shallow chalk soils of the downs the spoil from their trenches would be easily seen, as in the pictures below.

Photo of Norton Farm showing probable Livens projector gas bomb firing position, with Google Earth screenshot of same area.
Photo of Norton Farm showing probable Livens projector gas bomb firing position, with Google Earth screenshot of same area.
Photo from hillside above the demolished remains of Balsdean Farm, immediately after the war.

Photo of barns directly opposite the Balsdean Manor house.

Mustard gas bomb finds added to military map by Peter Hibbs.

The above three black and white inset photos all show in the background a double row of about 6 chalk excavations; about a dozen in total. When aligned with Google Earth imagery they are clearly the same feature. Those photographs, where the farm buildings are still standing, would have been taken before Balsdean and its surrounding downs were requisitioned in May 1942. The maximum firing distance of a Livens Projector in WW1 was about 1,500 metres. By 1941 significant improvements appear to have been made, but detailed information is difficult to find.

Video showing probable Livens projector gas bomb firing position and sites of recorded gas bomb finds. The furthest bombs found probably rolled down the hill. Background images: Peter Hibbs and Google Earth.


1941 (Autumn) – Tank Training

Two tank bases I know of were in Stanmer and Ovingdean. Was this filmed around Stanmer? If so, in 1941, these may well be British units.

Tanks require lots of room to manoeuvre, especially in joint forces exercises. Their commanders wanted large areas of the Downs to be requisitioned for this purpose. Opening and closing gates and keeping to farm tracks was not popular, and compensation to farmers was expensive. One regiment compensated the Balsdean farmers with (illegal?) petrol and marmalade! In the autumn of 1941 negotiations started to requisition large areas of the South Downs for tank training and other exercises.


1942, May – No. 3 Block South Downs Training Area

No. 3 Block South Downs Training Area. Requisitioned May 1942.
No. 3 Block South Downs Training Area. Requisitioned May 1942.

At the end of April 1942 Balsdean Farm received confirmation that their land was to be requisitioned for military training purposes. Kingston and other farms would have also been served similar notices. The final notice gave just two weeks to remove people, stock and machinery.

Wild West Balsdean Cattle Roundup in Lewes; Sussex Express, 18th May 1942.
Wild West Balsdean Cattle Roundup in Lewes; Sussex Express, 18th May 1942.

Woodman and Dalgety received financial compensation. Woodman found another farm in the west country. Dalgety sent their cattle via train to Yorkshire. He found work at the nearby Ashcombe Farm. My mother’s family and the other Balsdean labourers also lost their work and homes – but without any compensation. My grandmother had to leave her piano and other furniture behind.

I put this video together as part of a talk I gave on the WW2 military training area in 2017. The audio was downloaded from part of a podcast on military activities through history across the South Downs and was commissioned by the South Downs Joint Committee in about 2008. The series was called “Landshapers. Voices from the South Downs landscape. An Audimus[?] Production.” Sadly it and all the other superb audio documentaries of the series, with the replacement of the S.D. Joint Committee by the S.D. National Park, are no longer available on the Internet. This particular podcast was called “Conflict and War”. I hope the South Downs National Park is able to reinstate them.

The pictures were not part of the original broadcast. The first was of Balsdean Farm shortly after the military took over; the next few are of a range of Imperial War Museum photos of generic training activities; the tank picture is also from the I.W.M., and was taken in the village of Rottingdean immediately to the south west of the Balsdean military area; the plane crash pictures were of a Dakota (C47) allied troop transport plane which crashed on a hill top near Newmarket Plantation, in the northern part of the training area, killing almost all on board; the last image is of Balsdean towards the end of the war.


1942, June 22nd – Beaverbrook & the Second Front to help Russia

One year after Russia became our ally, and they desperately needed our help. Stalin wanted the Allies to cross the English Channel and start a Second Front.


1942, August 19th – Dieppe Raid

The infamous Dieppe Raid was initiated for many reasons, one of which was to pacify Stalin – to remind Hitler of the threat of a Second Front. Sadly, it suffered one of the worst casualty rates of WW2. The only Canadians involved from Sussex were based in Seaford and Newhaven shortly beforehand. It is highly unlikely that any Canadians based in Kingston were involved in any way. British Pathé newsreel shown to those at home was largely propaganda, and gave no indication of the scale of the tragedy.


1942, September – The National Farm Survey (1941-1943)

National Farm Survey map showing parts of Woodingdean, Falmer, Balsdean and Kingston near Lewes, surveyed September 1942. The National Archive: Part of MAF 73/41
National Farm Survey map showing parts of Woodingdean, Falmer, Balsdean and Kingston near Lewes, surveyed September 1942. The National Archive: Part of MAF 73/41

This map shows an agricultural survey map completed in September 1942. The East Sussex Agricultural Executive Committee was responsible for not only assessing an agricultural holding for its potential to feed the nation. It also had the power to take over a farm’s management and /or dictate what land should be put to the plough and what crops should be shown. The Balsdean farmer’s son, Gerald Woodman, said that their demands were often totally inappropriate. Before the war they worked their land with horses. After the start of the war two tractors were required to meet the demands of ESAEC. Similar stories have been told by many other farmers.


1944, May 5th – Bombing exercise on Castle Hill

Unfortunately the nature of the exercise, or the unit(s) involved are not given. I spent many long hours in The National Archive at Kew copying as many War Diaries as I could relevant to the area. After many thousands of pages I only reached the start of 1942. One day I may return to complete the job, but not in the foreseeable future.

RAF aerial photo of Newmarket Hill, Farm and Bottom, Castle Hill and Falmer Bottom, taken 1946, showing shell and and bomb craters. From left to right, a 25lb shell crater(?), a German bomb crater, and two 60lb allied bomb craters from a training exercise, 5th May 1944(?).
RAF aerial photo of Newmarket Hill, Farm and Bottom, Castle Hill and Falmer Bottom, taken 1946, showing shell and and bomb craters. From left to right, a 25lb shell crater(?), a German bomb crater, and two 60lb allied bomb craters from a training exercise, 5th May 1944(?).

1944, May 28th – German auxiliary petrol tanks

All sorts of things dropped out of skies during the war. Auxiliary petrol tanks were designed to be jettisoned in order to lighten the weight of the plane in an emergency. According to my father, his neighbour told him that during a dog-fight in the skies above Woodingdean, a bullet landed in a saucepan in her kitchen, rattling round and round until it came to halt!


1944, June 6th – D-Day

This film is the best I could find showing how the general public found out about D-Day. It is without sound.

The general public were keen for a second front to start. They were desperate for the beginning of the end of the war. In April a 10 mile exclusion zone to visitors was created around Newhaven and other south coast ports. From late May 1944 huge quantities of troops and equipment were seen building up in the area. Stanmer Park was one of several large Holding Camps in the area. Hyde Manor in Kingston was designated an alternative marshalling area for vehicles for Newhaven. The Americans set up anti-aircraft in nearby Iford.

On the morning of Tuesday 6th June 1944 I have been told that all was eerily quiet. The streets were deserted. All the soldiers had left – it was assumed – for France.


1944, July 25th – Bournemouth’s bathing ban removed!

By the summer of 1944 an invasion of the south coast looked increasingly unlikely. However Brighton’s beach wasn’t cleared of mines for another year.


1944, September – Official end of evacuation of children (except London)

The last evacuees didn’t return until March 1946.


1944, September 10th – Unexploded Anti-Aircraft Shell on Kingston Farm

An anti-aircraft gun was placed up on Kingston Hill during much of the war – the probable source of this shell. It was similar in size to a 25 pound artillery shell which Mr Rea would also almost certainly have found on his land.


1945, February 20th – Anti-Aircraft Shell in Kingston


1945, February 24th – Yet Another Anti-Aircraft Shell


1945, March 14th, 10.50 AM – Small arms fire breaks greenhouse windows

Small arms could be machine guns, rifles, grenades – all hand held weapons – all potentially lethal.


1945, March 14th, 11.30 AM – Illegal possession of ordnance

The teenage Gerald Busk may well have been reported to the authorities when they came to investigate Castelmar Fruit Farm’s damaged greenhouse. The collection of shrapnel was a popular pastime with children. Live ordnance was highly valued – but sometimes with fatal consequences.


1945, March 21st – Smoke shell lands in fireplace!

The artillery firing position was hidden behind a ridge south-southwest of Balsdean. The main target (shown in red) was probably the spur (Bird Brow) south-west of Iford Hill, which cuts across the main axis of Balsdean Bottom, half a mile before the ridge above Kingston. The grid reference for where it landed is given at the end of the yellow trajectory line. However, Gwernant was a house about half a mile due west of this location!

Probable 25 pound artillery gun line of fire.
Probable 25 pound artillery gun line of fire. The SW end was the firing position inside the area of scrub; the red area was the probable intended target; the NE end is the location given by the military grid reference; Gwernant was at the far NW of the village. Background image: Google Earth.

Video showing the approximate recorded flight path of the misfired 25lb smoke shell from the south-southwest of Balsdean to Kingston. When I made this video I had wrongly identified three modern flood defence banks as possible artillery firing positions. The actual firing position was hidden in the nearby area of scrubby woodland, and was protected by barbed wire defences. The military grid reference for the landing site given on the card was also incorrect. The location of Gwernant house is shown in the video, along with the actual trajectory of the shell. Background imagery: Google Earth.


1945, March 22nd – More Small Arms Fire from the downs

No damage, no casualties this time.


1945, April 18th – Unexploded 25lb shell

This was found just inside the number 3 South Downs Training Area, near Kingston.


1945, May 8th – VE Day

The war was over with Germany.


1945, June 15th – Training & civilian casualties

Just one week after V.E. Day, casualties from training for the continuing war in the Far East. Was Miss Ballantyne lucky or unlucky?! The downs associated with the Kingston Ridge were part of the Block 3 South Downs Training Area, so she may have been trespassing. The South Wales Borderers were an infantry regiment. They may have been from the 6th battalion, who had recently returned from fighting in the jungles of Burma, and were due to be sent back to India for an invasion of Malaya.


1945, July 16th – Death of Kenerick Wilson

Folkton & Flixton War Memorial, near Scarborough. From a photo by Colin Hinson.
Folkton & Flixton War Memorial, near Scarborough. From a photo by Colin Hinson.

The Hull Daily Mail newspaper, Saturday 21 July 1945, summarised the inquest report:

SCARBOROUGH SOLDIER KILLED
Mortar Practice Accident Pte. Kenerick Wilson, First Battn. Sherwood Foresters, aged 33, one of five soldiers injured during mortar practice on the South Downs on Tuesday, died soon after admission to hospital. At the inquest yesterday soldier witnesses stated that a tree 12ft. away was blasted, suggesting that the bomb had struck it. Wilson, a smallholder in civil life, lived at Flixton, Scarborough. Verdict: Accidental death.

The 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters was part of the 184th Brigade:

Despite being raised for service in war, the brigade never saw active service abroad and remained in the United Kingdom throughout the war, acting in a training role. In July 1945 the division was reorganised as a light division in preparation for a deployment to the Far East to fight the Imperial Japanese Army. However, the Japanese surrendered in August 1945 and the move cancelled.

Wikipedia.

For me, this makes his death all the more tragic.


1945, August 15th – VJ Day

The end of active hostilities, but the effects of the war – rationing, unexploded ordnance – were to continue for several years.


More to come very soon…


WW2 Timeline

This is my working timeline – again very much a work in progress. I have a very large amount of stuff which I have collected over the past few years which has yet to be added to these notes. This also includes the books listed below.

  • THMP = ‘The Huns Mere Pit’ Peter Mercer
  • LaW = ‘Lewes at War 1939-1945’ R.A. Elliston, 1999
  • IWSC = ‘If War Should Come’ P. MacDougal, 2011
  • WBiaW = Why Britain is at War: With a New Introduction by Andrew Roberts, Harold Nicolson, Penguin UK, 2010

  • 1917 – early 1918
    • Major food shortages IWSC p.53
  • 1924
    • Secret plans for air raid precautions LaW p.9
    • Air Raid Precautions Subcommittee formed 1924 but its recommendations were not acted on till 1935 IWSC p.49
  • 1925
    • Observer Corps (Special Constables) LaW p.9
  • 1930’s
    • 1st Woodingdean Scout Group (later 23rd Brighton) formed THMP p.76
    • All original Woodingdean roads completed THMP p.76
  • 1931 March
    • 2nd rifle range built at Lewes LaW p.12
  • 1932 November 10
    • Stanley Baldwin in House of Commons speach warned ‘the ordinary man in the street’ that any town within reach of an enemy aerodrome could be bombed within the first 5 minutes of war from the air – whatever people may tell him; the bomber will always get through. IWSC p.50
  • 1933 November
    • Lewes bonfire societies burn effigy of Hitler LaW p.11
  • 1934
    • ICI moves explosives factory on coast at Faversham in Kent to Ayrshire, away from potential aerial bombing IWSC p.51
  • 1934 November
    • Lewes branch of League of Nations meeting for & against pacifist stance over attended LaW p.11
  • 1935
    • Germany reoccupies Saar LaW p.10
    • Government informed local authorities they were to be given responsibility for Civil Defence based on a recommendation of the Air Raid Precautions Subcommittee IWSC p.49
  • 1935 March 1st
    • Goering announced the existence of a fully fledged Luftwaffe
  • 1935 July 24th
    • 1st Home Office Circular in Lewes on Air Raid Precautions LaW p.13
  • 1936
    • Germany remilitarises Rhineland LaW p.10
    • “By 1936 the Government had accepted that war was inevitable, and while pursuing a policy of negotition to avoid war some preparations were essential.” LaW p.13
  • 1936 April
    • Anti gas training in Lewes LaW p.11, 13
  • 1936 May
    • Major Sutton addressed the Rotary Club on subject of ARP LaW p.13
  • 1936 December 16th
    • Vacant shop due for demolition used for public ARP education (Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England) LaW p.13
  • 1937 May
    • Proposals for housing 500 people in cellars under the Corn Exchange, Lewes LaW p.14
  • 1937 June
    • Permanent ARP sub-committee of Lewes Town Council formed LaW p.14
  • 1937 August
    • County Council taking an interest in ARP LaW p.14
  • 1937 November 2nd
    • Home Office Inspection: nothing much has been done to implement depts circular on Civil Defence LaW p.14
  • 1938
    • 514 private residences in Woodingdean THMP p.75
    • Germany annexes Austria LaW p.10
    • Players cigarette cards “Aircraft of the RAF” LaW p.14
    • Wills 50 cigarette card series “Air Raid Precautions” LaW p.14
    • Appeal letter for ARP Volunteers Lewes (ESRO A3/65) LaW p.18
    • HMSO ‘Air Raid Precaution Handbook No 1: Personal Protection against Gas’ issued IWSC p.52
    • Penguin Special book published ‘The Air Defence of Britain’ detailed the dangers of airial bombings IWSC p.54
  • 1938 January
    • Aircrash during RAF training LaW p.12
    • ARP Officer appointed in Lewes LaW p.15
  • 1938 March
    • 45 ARP Volunteers LaW p.16
  • 1938 March 4th
    • 6″ gun weighing 7 1/2 ton installed for 159th (Heavy) Battery (Sussex) RA (TA) for training (Sussex Express) LaW p.12
    • Lewes supported TA with a Company of the 5th Cinque Ports Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment LaW p.12
    • Also in Lewes 210th Field Company Royal Engineers LaW p.12
  • 1938 March 25th
    • MP for Lewes spoke against “The Rape of Austria” LaW p.14
  • 1938 April
    • Volunteer ladies sew on name tapes of residents to gas masks after fitting details provided in Lewes LaW p.15
  • 1938 May
    • 309 ARP Volunteers LaW p.16
  • 1938 May 20th
    • Baxter’s the Printers 1st to install bomb and gas proof shelters in Lewes LaW p.14
  • 1938 May 27th
    • Lewes Co-operative Society reported on construction of bomb proof food store in cellars LaW p.14
  • 1938 Summer
    • British Legion (ex-servicemen) invite German ex-servicemen to a peace ceremony in Chichester IWSC p.64
  • 1938 end August
    • Britain becomes concerned about the possibility of Nazi attacks on Britain
  • 1938 September
    • Digging Air Raid Shelter trenches in Lewes (Sussex Daily News) LaW p.16
    • Air Raid Trenches backfilled! But could quickly be reopened LaW p.19
    • Munich crisis starts with invasion of Sudeten, Czechoslovakia LaW p.10, 14
    • France allied with Czechoslovakia, Britain allied with France IWSC p.54
    • Fear of war for 14 days IWSC p.53
    • Britain put on a war footing IWSC p.53
    • Boroughs throughout entire length S coast set about digging trenches, sand-bagging municipal buildings & preparing first aid posts. From newly available regional government reserve stocks, each Civil Defence authority able to order gas masks, with teams of volunteers assembling the masks & distributing them locally. Airfields, dockyards & barracks hastily camouflaged, while soldiers, sailors & airmen recalled to duty, with expectation of likely air raids IWSC p.53
  • 1938 September beginning
    • Just 700 of 12,000 gas masks completed LaW p.16
  • 1938 September 8th
    • Munich crisis with invasion of Sudeten, Czechoslovakia LaW p.10, 14
    • For 14 days fear of war IWSC p.53
  • 1938 September 27th, Tuesday
    • Hitler issued ultimatum in morning to Czechoslovakia or he would invade on Thursday; Czechs planned to resist, French obliged to assist Czechs, Britain obliged to assist French; trenches in Britain hastily dug, gas masks issued, British fleet mobilised just before midnight WBiaW p.87
  • 1938 September 28th, Wednesday
    • A tired Chamberlin addressed House of Commons with detailed account of negotiations since May crisis using moderate language. Announced Hitler’s invitation to meet in Munich Thurs a.m. WBiaW p.88-90
  • 1938 September 29th, Thursday
    • Chamberlain arrived in Munich believing in ‘peace at almost any price’; the terms agreed with Hitler were draconian; Czechs excluded from meeting WBiaW p.91-92
  • 1938 September 30th
    • Assembling gas masks in Lewes (Sussex Express) LaW p.15
    • Just about all gas masks delivered LaW p.16
    • Early morning Chamberlin communicated agreed terms to Czechs; terms excluded right to appeal; late afternoon Chamberlin waves a piece of paper to crowds at Heston Airport. “This, means peace in our time.” WBiaW p.92-93
  • Post Munich Crisis
    • After Munich crisis Pacifist movement tried harder but increasingly failed IWSC p.64
  • 1938 October 3rd, Monday
    • Mr Duff Cooper, First Lord of the Admiralty, resigned because of Chamberlin’s actions WBiaW p.93-94
  • 1938 October 21st
    • Public meeting on Civil Defence in Lewes Town Hall attended by 800+ people, overflow in Corn Exchange LaW p.17
    • Chief ARP Officer reported not much done after 3 years preparation. Chief danger from HE blast & incendiary bombs. Air Raid Siren ordered but not installed. Volunteer ARP recruiting poor, messengers to come from Youth Groups LaW p.17
  • 1938 December
    • Most ARP volunteer positions filled LaW p.17
  • 1939 – 1945
    • Building virtually ceased during the war THMP p.76
  • 1939 – 1946?
    • New houses top of Farm Hill constructed during and immediately after the war by German prisoners of war THMP p.76
    • German p.o.w.s common sight in Woodingdean THMP p.76
  • 1939
    • Players cigarette cards “Uniforms of the Territorial Army” LaW p.14
    • ARP advertising (East Sussex News) LaW p.21
  • 1939 January
    • Lewes Mayor requests families to register to take in evacuees LaW p.19
    • Bishop Bell of Chichester gives message calling for peace to people of Sussex IWSC p.61
  • 1939 January 17th
    • Avro Anson flying from Thorney Island on naval co-operation exercise crashed on Kingston Hill/Ridge; injured crew to Royal Sussex County Hospital (Edward Reeves) LaW p. 12, 19
  • 1939 February 20th
    • Full scale ARP Practice. Buzzed by 3 RAF biplanes at 300mph. Air Raid sirens, mock casualties, etc. Complaints from clergy as took place during Sunday Service (Sussex Express) LaW p.20
  • 1939 March 15th
    • Chamberlin no longer believes in peace treaty with Hitler WBiaW p.96
    • In morning, Punch cartoon depicts John Bull waking from a nightmare entitled “The Ides of March”; in afternoon German troops invade Prague WBiaW p.1011939 May 26 Military Training Act 1939 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Training_Act_1939 [Ended 1942. Superceded Sept. 1939 by the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939]
  • 1939 July 20
    • Sheffield Daily Telegraph FARMS, AGISTMENTS. ETC, BRIGHTON DOWNS. —Safe Zone; main road; sea 2d.; POULTRY FARM, 2J acres; future Building .. “… electric. Inside san.; also 4 roomed Hut, Fugnlshed; £950 the lot; or Building Plots with acres.—‘‘Evcrsglade,’’ Falmer rd, Woodingdean, Brighton. SMALLHOLDING, 15 … ” First match of your search in this article. Thursday 20 July 1939 , Sheffield Daily Telegraph , South Yorkshire, England Type: Article Words: 63 Page: 13 Tags: none The British Newspaper Library online catalogue
  • 1939 July 21
    • Sheffield Daily Telegraph FARMS, AGISTMENTS, ETC BRIGHTON DOWNS.—Safe Zone; main road; sea 2d.; POULTRY FARM. acres; future Building Land .. “… electric, inside san.; also 4 roomed Hut, Furnished; £950 the lot- or Building Plots with acres. —“Eversglade,” Falmer rd, Woodingdean, Brighton … ” Friday 21 July 1939 , Sheffield Daily Telegraph , South Yorkshire, England. Type: Article Words: 44 Page: 15 Tags: none The British Newspaper Library online catalogue
  • 1941
    • Church of the Holy Cross built THMP p.76
  • 1941 October 03
    • Sussex Agricultural Express LEWES COUNTY COURT CLAIM BY MASTER OF SOUTHDOWN FOXHOUNDS. “… Foxhounds, of Wellingham Vane, Ringmcr, who farms Bahsdean Farm. Rottingdean, claimed from Ivan B. Ayliff, of Wick Farm, Woodingdean, £l4, the value of the heifer. … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 03 October 1941 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 224 Page: 4 Tags: none The British Newspaper Library online catalogue
  • 1941 October 24
    • Sussex Agricultural Express RATIONING MISTAKES. “… work of Miss Walton and Miss Harland. It was with pleasure she welcomed two new Institutes. Burwash Common and Weald and Woodingdean. Mrs. Lomas said she could not … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 24 October 1941 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 183 Page: 8 Tags: none The British Newspaper Library online catalogue
  • 1942 April 13
    • Gloucestershire Echo Mr. Sandys said in the Commons to-day that using the Sussex* Downs as a military training ground the Army would “… Mr. Sandys said in the Commons to-day that using the Sussex* Downs as a military training ground the Army would endeavour to prevent damage to historic monuments. … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 13 April 1942 , Gloucestershire Echo , Gloucestershire, England Type: Article Words: 27 Page: 4 Tags: none
    • Lincolnshire Echo Axis Strategy Falls Back On Sparring “… to the coastal areas. TANKS NO TERROR Giving an assurance in liie Commons to-day that in using the Sussex Downs as a military training ground the Anhy will endeavour … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 13 April 1942 , Lincolnshire Echo , Lincolnshire, England Type: Article Words: 756 Page: 4 Tags: none
    • Dundee Evening Telegraph MR MORRISON ON SIR WARREN FISHER’S DISMISSAL “… he would provide detailed figures. Preserving Historic Monuments. Mr Sandys said that in using the Sussex Downs as a military training ground tha Army would … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 13 April 1942 , Dundee Evening Telegraph , Angus, Scotland Type: Article Words: 1141 Page: 3 Tags: none
  • 1942 April 14
    • Western Daily Press TO PUT IT BRIEFLY “… replying to Mr Hannah (C. Bilston) in the House of Commons yesterday, said that the Army, using the Sussex Downs as a military training ground, would endeavour to … ” First match of your search in this article. Tuesday 14 April 1942 , Western Daily Press , Bristol, England Type: Article Words: 317 Page: 4 Tags: none
  • 1942 May 08
    • Bucks Herald HerU Fi i’ New Plan “… Committee had been set up to receive and examine all proposals to provide or make use of land in the United Kingdom for military training and to co-ordinate the … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 08 May 1942 , Bucks Herald , Buckinghamshire, England Type: Article Words: 985 Page: 3 Tags: none
  • 1942 May 15
    • Sussex Agricultural Express MR. REGINALD A. PREBBLE. “… MR. REGINALD A. PREBBLE IS instructed to SELL the above BY AUCTION (unless previously disposed of privately), at THE GEORGE HOTEL, RYE. on WEDNESDAY, MAY 27th, 1942, at Three p.m. , Particulars and conditions sale can be had of:—Messrs. Dawes, Son and Prentice. Solicitors, Bank Chambers, Rye; Mr. Reginald A. Prebble, Auctioneer and Surveyor. 2, High-street, Rye. WICK FARM WOODINGDEAN, NEAR BRIGHTON. Situated in the centre of the village. MESSRS. WELLER, SON & GRINSTED instructed by Mr. A. E. Ay litre to to SELL BY! AUCTION on the… ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 15 May 1942 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 200 Page: 2 Tags: none Newspaper Library online catalogue
  • 1942 May 29
    • Sussex Agricultural Express Parliamentary. “…Parliamentary Question Master DMIRAL BEAMISH may be qualifying unconsciously for the post of Parliamentary question master. Among Sussex members he has been easily first of late in the number of inquiries addressed to Government departments. Sometimes he wants information for himself ; sometimes he seeks facts for the benefit of his constituents of the Lewes Division, and at other times his interrogatories are made for the enlightenment of the whole nation. His recent encounter at question time with the Minister of Information, in which honours were even, was one of the briskest engagements of the present session. One matter in which the Admiral has been interesting himself on behalf the agricultural community the use the South Downs for purposes of military training. On this question he was successful in obtaining an assurance from the Ministry War that it was not proposed to requisition further areas of the Downs, and that when used for military exercises everything possible would be done to protect agricultural interests and private property. The Silent Bells rrtHE silencing of church bells, and their reservation an invasion signal are still part of military defence policy. In vain have Sussex church leaders pleaded for mitigation or the removal of the ban on Sunday bells; in vain has Mr. A. P. Herbert in supported their appeal. The War Minister is adamant, and until the bells proclaim victory and peace it is probable that their once familiar music will not again be heard in the land. People who believe that the ringing church bells would not be the most effective invasion alarm will endorse some Mr. Herbert’s objections. The Member for Oxford University pointed out that the church was the only … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 29 May 1942 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 449 Page: 4 Tags: none Newspaper Library online catalogue
    • Sussex Agricultural Express Closed Footpaths “… in making a record of footpaths which are surrendered for the needs of war, and passing on the list to the local authority when the time for restoration arrives. … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 29 May 1942 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 381 Page: 4 Tags: none
  • 1942 June 05
    • Sussex Agricultural Express A group of County School boys are here seen at work at Peacehaven “… blitzed. London need not be afraid for its sugar ration. Girls from the County School at Lewes did similar good work at Woodingdean. At lunch-time the W.V.S. … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 05 June 1942 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 268 Page: 7 Tags: none
  • 1944 March 24
    • Sussex Agricultural Express RABBITING WITH MOTOR CYCLE “… RABBITING WITH MOTOR CYCLE John James Crowe, of Woodingdean. Brighton, admitted unlawfully using motor fuel on February 17th, at Alfriston. Superintendent A, Hopper … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 24 March 1944 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 199 Page: 5 Tags: none
  • 1944 March 31
    • Sussex Agricultural Express PRESIDENT’S ADVICE “… PRESIDENT’S ADVICE Mrs. Lomas (president of the East Sussex County Federation of Women’s Institutes) gave interesting talk. She suggested that Institutes should take greater interest in international a flan’s, as the post-war problems of the world seemed to be almost overwhelming. There would be need for a greater understanding the difficulties of the nations who had been overrun, and endless patience. They ought to be able to appreciate this, and they should try to realise the outlook of the freed peoples. She suggested that Women’s Institutes should study some of these problems, and also learn about the growth and development of the British Empire. She recommended for reading, with a view to discussions afterwards, two books—Mr. Wendell Wilkie’s One World and Eve Curie’s Journey among Warriors. The talk by Mrs. Lomas was warmly appreciated, and Mrs. Buswell ‘president Telscombe Cliffs Women’s Institute) expressed thanks to Mrs. Lomas on behalf of all present. After short interval in which tea was served, well-acted play by Seaford Women’s Institute gave much enjoyment. This was entitled Is this Art? and the make-up of two of its] members certainly merited an answer in the affirmative. Peacehaven and Telscombe Cliffs combined in a display of period and foreign costumes, some of great age and beauty- Paisley and Chinese shawls, Indian saris and a Chinese mandarin coat gave a glimpse |of colour too seldom seen in these days. The gay nineties! lived again in a wonderful dress of net with ostrich-feather-trimmed hat, and a lovely dress worn at the Coronation cele-i brations of King Edward villThis last was beautifully was becomingly displayed by its! rendered, and deserved high owner. A bathing belle of praise. Mrs. Sankey, of Peace- Edwardian days, who had haven, was stage manager obviously mistaken the season [throughout the afternoon and of the year, provided a little; arranged the display comedy. Woodingdean Women’s costumes. Institute supplied the musical Before the National Anthem interest of the afternoon with brought a happy afternoon to two duets, three-part song and;close. Mrs. Lomas thanked all the Faery Song from Rutland who had helped to make the Boughton’s Immortal Hour. [rally such a success … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 31 March 1944 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 355 Page: 1 Tags: none
    • Sussex Agricultural Express PARISHES ARE “… Cross! Seaford. Peacehaven. Telscourses such as first aid, home combe Cliffs, Rottingdean and nursing and infant welfare. Woodingdean—and another Certificates are … ” First match of your search in this article. Friday 31 March 1944 , Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England Type: Article Words: 387 Page: 1 Tags: none
  • 1944 August 20
    • Sunday Post IT WAS A TONIC! “… the tired-out troops! Gone in an instant was all their fatigue, and a resounding cheer greeted the pilots. Mrs A. L. S., Woodingdean, near Brighton. German Told This … ” First match of your search in this article. Sunday 20 August 1944 , Sunday Post , Lanarkshire, Scotland Type: Article Words: 339 Page: 6 Tags: none
  • 1944 November 20
    • Derby Daily Telegraph DAKOTA CRASH: 26 U.S. SOLDIERS DIE “… statement to-day. BADLY BURNED The scene of the crash was on the South Downs about two miles from the road connecting Woodingdean and Falmer, between Brighton and … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 20 November 1944 , Derby Daily Telegraph , Derbyshire, England Type: Article Words: 378 Page: 1 Tags: none
    • Gloucestershire Echo 26 Die In U.S. Troop ‘Plane Crash “… out of control. BADLY BURNED The scene of the crash was! on the South Downs, about | two miles from the road connecting Woodingdean and Falmer, between Brighton and … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 20 November 1944 , Gloucestershire Echo , Gloucestershire, England Type: Article Words: 440 Page: 1 Tags: none
    • Nottingham Evening Post DAKOTA PLANE CRASH “… INJURED SOLDIER TWO MILES FROM SCENE. The scene of the crash was on the South Downs, about two miles from the road connecting Woodingdean and Falmer, between … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 20 November 1944 , Nottingham Evening Post , Nottinghamshire, England Type: Article Words: 242 Page: 1 Tags: none
    • Evening Despatch in S. England “… Four are in hospital injured. The scene o’f the crash was on the South Downs about two miles from the road connecting Woodingdean and Falmer, between Brighton and … ” First match of your search in this article. Monday 20 November 1944 , Evening Despatch , West Midlands, England Type: Article Words: 306 Page: 3 Tags: none
  • 1944 November 21
    • Western Morning News Dakota Troop ‘Plane Crash “… cause could be fixed for the plane going out of control. The scene of the crash was two miles from the road connecting Woodingdean and Falmer. One of the injured … ” First match of your search in this article. Tuesday 21 November 1944 , Western Morning News , Devon, England Type: Article Words: 362 Page: 3 Tags: none
  • 1945
    • 600 dwellings in Woodingdean THMP p.77
  • 1945 March 06
    • Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire, England “VILLAGE OF 3,000 HAS NO DOCTOR | … VILLAGE OF 3,000 HAS NO DOCTOR Questions are to be asked in Parliament about the doctorless village of Woodingdean, near Brighton. Mrs. Kenneth Harrington, of … ” Type: Article Words: 169 Page: 3 Tags: none
  • 1945 June 22nd
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “AT BURGESS HILL | … county standard and the standards of the following women’s sections: Haywards Heath, Lindfleld and Scaynes Hill Worthing, Woodingdean, Eastbourne, Cuckfleld, Clayton … ” Type: Article Words: 193 Page: 10 Tags: none
    • Sussex Agricultural Express , East Sussex, England “AT BURGESS HILL | … county standard and the standards of the following women’s sections: Hay wards Heath, Lindfield and Scaynes Hill Worthing, Woodingdean, Eastbourne, Cuckheld. Clayton … ” Type: Article Words: 186 Page: 10 Tags: none
  • 1945 July 13th
    • Surrey Mirror, Surrey, England “SALFORDS | … the latter place w’e went inland again to Ovlngdean, ‘and after by the golf course over more Downs to the racecourse and Woodingdean. This again is part so near … ” Type: Article Words: 869 Page: 10 Tags: none
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “SOUTHOVER | … Mi’s. Lunn presided, and many members and friends were present. The President welcomed the Mayoress and visitors from Woodingdean. Hamsey and Cooksbrldge, Rodmell, … ” Type: Article Words: 297 Page: 5 Tags: none
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “SOUTHOVER | … Hall. Mrs. Lunn presided, and many members and friends were present. The President welcomed the Mayoress and visitors from Woodingdean. Hamsev and Cooksbridge. … ” Type: Article Words: 295 Page: 5 Tags: none
  • 1945 November 16th
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “The new Deputy Mayor (Alderman C. D. Crisp) adjusts the new Mayors chain of office. Also in the photograph are … stairs. He was injured and died on Saturday evening. Mrs. Tomsett said deceased came to them about three years ago from Woodingdean after that place had been bombed, … ” Type: Article Words: 1088 Page: 1 Tags: none
  • 1945 – post
    • Last roads made up in Woodingdean THMP p.76
  • 1946
    • Wick Barn on Parish Lane burnt down & death of livestock THMP p.46
    • Aerial photo shows only 20 cars on Woodingdean roads THMP p.89
  • 1950’s – mid
    • Warren Farmhouse demolition for widening of Warren Road THMP p.47
  • 1951 November 23 Friday
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “Hanger On The Downs Must Be Bemoved NOTHER death on the Downs between Lewes and Brighton raises the question again | … Hanger On The Downs Must Be Bemoved NOTHER death on the Downs between Lewes and Brighton raises the question again as whether sufficient has been done to make the Sussex Downs safe fbr the civilian population since they were used bv the War Office as battle training areas during the war. The Brighton man killed by a mortar bomb near Woodingdean last week had been in the habit gathering old cartridge cases during week-ends and selling them as scrap metal, and there was ample evidence the Coroner’s inquest held Lewes to show that there is still a vast quantity of this old ammunition, both live and exploded, scattered over the Downs. The War Office say they are unable to carry out any further intensive search in order to clear the Downs of this menace. When questioned bv Mr. Howard Johnson, M.P. for Kemp Town, in the House of Commons this week, the War Minister Mr. Anthony Head, said a further search of the area would be major task for which men were not present available. It Is true that warnings have been frequently and widely circulated about the danger of touching anything lying about the Downs, and these have received emphasis from time to time bv wide publicity given to deaths which have occurred through disturbing these missiles. These warnings, however, quickly lose their force even with adults as the war recedes into history while it is impossible to prevent children from playing with interesting looking objects which they discover in their rambles. However frequently or forcibly reiterated warnings can never be completely successful, while there is the further risk, even to the most careful persons, kicking against these dangerous missiles while walking over the Downs. It is clear that If Is profitable for person to spend week-ends searchintt for these cases to sell for scrap metal, there must be an abundant quantity still lying aboutfar more than is suggested by the War Minister’s reference to the difficulty of Intensive search in parts of the area covered bv dense vegetation. The public will not take kindly to the War Minister’s two alternatives to meet the problem—to close the South Downs or to attempt intensive search, with the added statement that the War Office is not capablee of doing this intensive search at … ” Type: Article Words: 676 Page: 4 Tags: none
    • Sussex Agricultural Express, East Sussex, England “■re Mug iiiwwi tonlghi anil Saturdair | … re Mug iiiwwi tonlghi anil Saturdair. MAN KILLED BY MORTAR BOMB Further Search For Explosives On The Downs – IVAR MINISTER FOLLOWING the fatal accident to Brighton man, who -T was killed by a high explosive mortar bomb the Downs near Fainter. Mr. Howard .Johnson iConservative M.P. tor the Kemp Town. Brighton, Division asked the Secretary of State for war Mr. Anthony Head* several questions in the House of Commons on, Tuesday. asked Mr. Head would take urgent measures ensure that that the Downs around Brighton were Immediately cleared War Department explosives Mr. Head replied that extensive and thorough, measures had been taken by speclitlly trail, Army battle-area clearance teams clear the South Downs unexploded missiles., nevertheless, owing: the dense vegetation, it had been extremely dlfflcult search parts the urea effectively, even with with mine detectors. A thorough search of the area of the area would be major task, for which men were not present available. mutter again on the adjournment the earliest opportunity. At the Inquest Osman Reginald Holden (49). a plasterer, off New England-etreet, Brighton, Lewes Friday, P.C. Money produced fragments of two-inch high explosive of two-inch high explosive mortar found the scene of the accident. said that several rounds small arms ammunition were found near the body,, and haversack over Holden’s shoulder contained similar ammunition. Hr. Howard Johnson ukecl the Secretary State lor War If tie aware that number civilians had already been killed by War Department explosives. AND Mr. Head replied that … ” Type: Article Words: 495 Page: 8 Tags: none

2 replies on “WW2 Kingston Near Lewes Presentation – 1940-1945”

This is excellent material and must be the result of hours of work. I’m referencing it in my blog which is focused on educating runners on the downs about the countryside are passing through.

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