Seaford and Eastbourne in the Great War, by Kevin Gordon
Published by Pen and Sword in 2015, 156 pages. Paperback (N6993)
Brand New Book
Brand New Book
From the rear side cover: The Sussex seaside towns of Seaford and Eastbourne were closer to the action than most places; the sound of naval battles could be heard from the coast (and sometimes witnessed by those with a good pair of binoculars). When the wind was in the right direction the rumble of artillery from France bought the frontline into the streets.
At the start of the Great War, Eastbourne was an elegant and blossoming resort and did its best to maintain its tourist trade despite the arrival of soldiers, aeroplanes, refugees and the wounded. Seaford was a much smaller resort with a population of under 4,000 however thousands of troops from all over the Empire were billeted in the area either at private homes or in two massive camps. The Seaford camps were the venue for training, parades, fighting, murder and even rioting. Nearby Newhaven became an important port in which provisions were transported to the front. Conscientious Objectors, some under threat of the death penalty worked on the docks and the nearby roads.
In his book “Seaford and Eastbourne in the Great War” local historian, Kevin Gordon tells the story of how the conflict affected, not only these seaside towns but also of the soldiers (many of them teenagers) who answered the call to battle. It is a story of spies, schoolchildren and sacrifice; a story that, for many, ended in the cemetery at Seaford which today is one of the largest Commonwealth War Graves in the South of England.