WSCC's World War One centenary commemorations

World War One centenary commemorations continue at The Martlets Hall Cafe, organised by Burgess Hill Library, next week.

Last updated:
25 June 2015

Martin Hayes, a County Local Studies Librarian, will be uncovering Burgess Hill’s home front activities on Thursday 6 November 2014.

His talk – Great War West Sussex 1914-18: The Home Front, Civilians at War – is part of a series of events taking place to mark the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.

Martin said: “I’ll be remembering the contribution local people made to the war efforts - for example, did you know that scouts from Burgess Hill were sent to West Wittering to help with anti-invasion measures, mainly coast-watching.

“A fete at Oak Hall attracted over 1800 local people and raised over £6,000 for the Red Cross.

“And a dozen Belgian refugees housed at Birchwood Road in the town included a peasant farmer, a penniless diamond cutter, an orphan girl and two nuns”.

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

“I’ll also be covering a whole host of issues – from munitions production to agriculture and food, as well as the long-term effect of the War, especially on those who returned from the battlefields.”

The talk will start at 7.00pm at Martlets Hall Café, Civic Way, Burgess Hill RH15 9NN and tickets cost £3.00 each.

It is the latest in a series of events taking place at libraries across West Sussex.

Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council's Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, added: “It’s important to remember the great sacrifice that was made, both in battle overseas and also on the home front during the conflict.

“The Great War brought about huge social changes which have had a lasting impact on our local communities.

“The talks provide a fascinating insight into what life was like in West Sussex during the war.”

Tickets are available from The Martlets box office, call 01444 242888.

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