Memorial first world war display planned

Early volunteers for the first world war at Steyning railway station
Early volunteers for the first world war at Steyning railway station

RESEARCH into the men from Upper Beeding and Bramber who died in the first world war is underway for a special memorial display.

Beeding and Bramber Local History Society has provided the picture above of early volunteers at Steyning railway station.

Secretary Pat Nightingale said one of the society’s members had already researched all the names on the war memorials in Upper Beeding, Bramber and Small Dole.

She added: “Most of the men were buried in military cemeteries abroad, but we have a few photos of gravestones in Beeding and Bramber where they have been remembered on family gravestones.

“Particularly sad I think, is the one of the brothers who died in France, one aged 24 and one aged 21, within nine days of each other.”

The society also has a photo of a man from Upper Beeding who died in France, a portrait of him in uniform.

Mrs Nightingale said the Bramber war memorial is difficult to see, as it is on the lych gate to the churchyard and the inscription is up inside it, on a beam.

There was no war damage in the village but what life was like for those left at home will form part of the research project, involving Upper Beeding Parish Council and churches in the 3bs Parish.

The Rev John Challis said: “We are planning to make a map that shows each of the men who have their names read out on Remembrance Sunday and died in battle during world war one.

“It will depict where they lived in our parish, where they fought and where they died.

“We also are planning to show what our villages looked like, what life was like for those left at home, the work of nurses, local POW, a section on women’s role, the effects of the war and its social changes in our parish.

“We also want to show what happened to those who objected and didn’t fight. Its a big project and we want to link it in to other towns and villages”

The display is planned for November.