SMHS meeting: Project feedback

18 Dec 2013

SMHS is committed to the preservation of military history and our December meeting saw presentations from two of our members of research in the Sussex area.

Peter Tyrell took us on a whistle-stop tour of Sussex entitled 1914 and Now” presenting images of the impact of WW1 on the Sussex landscape. From Rye to Chichester, he showed memorials, barrack buildings, drill halls and cemeteries, each complimented with its own unique story.

Among our favourites, some photos of tethering points for airships from the Royal Naval Air Station at Polegate, still there if you know where to look! Airships based here would patrol the Channel searching for submarines or undertake convoy escort duties. Peter described one disastrous incident when, forced by heavy fog to make unplanned landings, two airships were destroyed when one landed atop another in poor visibility on the Downs near Jevington.

Similarly poignant, Peter showed pictures of the Chattri, Brighton's Memorial to Indian Servicemen in WW1. The Royal Pavilion, Dome and Brighton General Hospital were all converted to take injured Indian service personnel, with the Chattri being erected in 1921 as a Memorial to those who gave their lives.

Then Pete Hibbs, had the task of summarising the preservation work we have undertaken in 2013. Initially he showed us photos of the Field Team's work at Cripp's Corner, where a section of WW2 anti-tank traps were cleared, recorded and permission was granted to paint one in the camouflage scheme taken directly from the WW2 training manual!

Over in the parish of Withyham, the team's ongoing project is the clearance and surveying of a number of Pillboxes in the Newhaven - Penshurst Stop Line, some threatened by a Planning Application. Pete impressed us again with a computer generated model detailing the construction of a Type 24 pillbox.

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7.30pm for 8.00pm start
Function Room of the
Royal Oak Public House,
Station Street, Lewes,
East Sussex.

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