Researching Lewes and World War I

Sources relating to Lewes, and the Royal Sussex Regiment

This page has been put together in collaboration with the Reeves Archive Project 2016

 

The First World War East Sussex
Browse for and add stories, anecdotes and current events commemorating East Sussex’s role in the First World War. Site created by the East Sussex County Council, in collaboration with The Keep. Lists websites, items in The Keep,  digitised local newspapers for 1914-1918, allows public to submit stories, memories, images, and to participate in a survey of local war memorials. Covers events relating to the First World War Centenary. Users can search for Lewes.

 

Roll of Honour
Information about men and women who died fighting for the United Kingdom. Names were taken from war memorials, and information added where possible. Information is from many sources including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site. Lists for Lewes: mostly WWI, with information about most of the fallen. Taken from Lewes War Memorial, and from memorials at St. Johns Sub Castro, St Annes Westout, St Thomas A’Becket, St. Michaels Southover, St. John the Baptist, leading to some duplication.
Gives a list of Sussex memorials transcribed or being worked on.

 

Steve George’s Google map
Approximate addresses mapped for those named on Lewes war memorial to show the devastating impact on communities of the First and Second World Wars. Blue pins represent the First World War.
Not all are listed because not all roads still exist. Maybe a third of those killed are not shown individually on the map. Sources include www.cwgc.org and www.roll-of-honour.com

 

Royal Sussex Regiment
Archives deposited in West Sussex Record Office since 1979 consist of documents, photographs, audio-visual records and printed works. These are derived from both official and private sources covering the history of the Royal Sussex Regiment from its establishment in 1701 as the 35th Regiment of Foot to its amalgamation in The Queen’s Regiment in 1966. The collection is particularly rich for the First World War and includes official series of nominal rolls, casualty lists, unit war diaries, battalion orders, diaries and service papers of officers and other ranks. (From Chris Nichols)

 

Soldiers Died in the Great War: The Royal Sussex Regiment 1904-1920
HMSO lists of those who died in the First War, published by regiment, divided into battalions. May include name, birthplace, enlistment place, residence, number, decoration, rank, regiment, battalion, type of casualty, death date, death place, theater of war. The Keep, reference LIB/501224, Reference Room shelf 18-21-01
Also on Ancestry, and Find My Past (From Chris Nichols)

 

An index to death, funeral and obituary reports in the Sussex Express (formerly Sussex Agricultural Express)
Includes 1914-1920. Search online in hierarchy for year, and names are displayed by date.
(From Chris Nichols)

 

Index to Servicemen and others in West Sussex Newspapers, 1914-1918
Compiled by West Sussex County Council Library

 

British Army War Diaries 1914-1922
The National Archives have digitised all their unit war diaries for the Western Front (WO 95). Some diaries record little more than daily losses and map references whilst others are much more descriptive, with daily reports on operations, intelligence summaries and other material. The digitised diaries cover activity in France and Belgium. Searching is free, but there may be a charge to download documents.
There are 21 diaries under Royal Sussex Regiment, covering a selection of Battalions, over different periods. Also available on Ancestry.

 

Southdown Battalions
Lowther’s Lambs. Lists Battalions and soldiers’names, some of whom are from Lewes.  Search by name, place, etc.

 

Royal Sussex Living History Group
Founded by John A Baines, the Group aims to educate – showing people what it was like to serve in the Royal Sussex Regiment. Information about the Regiment, memorials, cemeteries, uniforms, soldiers’ stories.

 

The Western Front Association
Inaugurated on 11 November 1980, the object of the Association is to educate the public in the history of The Great War with particular reference to the Western Front. The Sussex branch meets monthly in Lewes. WFA’s resources include the Great War Maps DVDs.

 

Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War
Profiles of individuals built up using memories, images, facts from official docs. Search by name, unit, service number, or “community”.

 

The Long, Long Trail: the British Army in the Great War of 1914-1918
A site all about the soldiers, units, regiments and battles of the British Army of the First World War, and how to research and understand them.

 

Books

John A.Baines: The Day Sussex Died: A History of Lowther’s Lambs to the Boar’s Head Massacre. Royal Sussex Living History Group, 2012. [In various Sussex libraries 940.42, but not Lewes.]

Alison M. Benton: Men of Southover : the lives and deaths of the sixty-eight men named on Southover’s two war memorials, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Uckfield : Moira Publications, 1998. The stories of those lost in the two World Wars, and the families they left behind in Southover, Lewes. [Lewes Library, 940.467 LEW]

Geoffrey Bridger: The Great War Handbook: a Guide for Family Historians and Students of the Conflict. Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2009. Providing an insight into army life and the experiences of ordinary soldiers in the Great War, this book includes information on army organization, trench warfare, weapons, equipment, special units, military medicine and casualties. [Lewes Library, 940.4 and Reference]

Geoffrey Bridger: Valiant Hearts of Ringmer – Ringmer Village War Memorial. Ammonite, 1993. [Lewes Library, 942.257 RIN]

Paul Reed
Sussex to The Somme: The Southdowns Battalions – Lowther’s Lambs at War
E-Book chapters by Paul Reed, military historian.

 

Named individuals

Sidney Woodroffe
BBC
The Argus

Frank Leslie Stone
The diary of Frank Leslie Stone, describing military service during the First World War, while serving in the Lewes troop of the Sussex Yeomanry; includes references to the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who enlisted in the same troop; Petts Farm; the Dardanelles. 1914-1918. [East Sussex Record Office ACC 8711/1]

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