By the end of the War, Barcombe, an agricultural parish of 1,277 people, had supplied 176 men to the Armed Forces, 36 of whom did not return. What was daily life like for those who were left behind? Life certainly wasn’t dull, with the parish led by a smock-wearing squire, commanding a cyclists’ battalion, while promoting a resurgence of the sport of stoolball for wounded servicemen. They are joined by a new Rector and schoolmaster and an unwitting collaborator in the ‘Piltdown Man’ hoax.
Using articles from the Sussex Express, supported by contemporary images, postcards and documents, we follow village life from the eager volunteers of 1914 and their news from the front, to the fund-raising events for refugees and servicemen, and on to conscription and the military tribunals of 1916. The village plans a fete for convalescing soldiers, while Women’s Land Army workers make their first appearance on local farms.
Once the war had ended the parish began to consider how best to commemorate the dead, support the survivors and plan for the Peace Celebrations.
Local historian Ian Hilder, introduces the audience to the inhabitants of a Sussex village during the Great War.
The book- Great War Barcombe News from a Sussex village 1914-1919, edited by Ian Hilder, BA, FSG is available to purchase at Bridge Cottage.