How Haywards Heath residents dug deep for war effort 100 years ago


It took Haywards Heath residents just three days to raise £24,000 in 1914.

They were moved to take action following the declaration of war.

This is just one incredible example of the way Haywards Heath responded and were affected by World War One.

Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian, will be revealing more during his talk at Haywards Heath Library on Wednesday 4 February.

His illustrated talk – Great War West Sussex 1914-18: The Home Front, Civilians at War – is one of a series of events taking place around the county to mark the centenary of the Great War. 

Martin said: “People in Haywards Heath made an amazing contribution to the war efforts 100 years ago.

“Within three days of war being declared residents had raised nearly £24,000 for the war effort and every month from February 1915 local people sent three tons of fruit and vegetables to the Royal Navy.

“Many local men volunteered for the armed forces. Some 40 players from Haywards Heath Rangers FC joined up. Sadly, nine had lost their lives by 1917.

“Women contributed massively to the war effort and many took paid work for the first time in their lives. For example, in 1916 a wife learnt how to cut hair and became the barber at her husband’s shop while he was on active service.

“The town’s post office employed women postal workers for the first time. There was resistance from some men however and one local farmer told the Mid-Sussex Times that women ‘would bring plague more than profit’!

“There are many other stories like these which I look forward to sharing.”

The talk will start at 7pm at Haywards Heath Library, 34 Boltro Road, RH16 1BN. Tickets cost £3 each.

Tickets are available from Haywards Heath Library.

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Last updated:
6 February 2018

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