Monday 22 October

Crowborough’s War 1914-1918

Crowborough's War 1914-1918

An exhibition to mark the part Crowborough played during the First World War, and the contribution made by residents. This major event to be opened by the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex (in the main hall of Beacon Academy School in Beeches Road)will engage current residents of all ages, with the stories and lives of their local ancestors during 1914 – 1918.

Local families are being encouraged to research their relatives who lived in the area during the War. And their stories will form part of the exhibition.

The findings from these activities will offer a personal insight into the effect of the war on the town and its residents and It will bring people face to face with the local men who went off to fight and never returned, and those who played their part at home.

World War 1, Crowborough West Army Camp

Sir Arthur Conan DoyleThe exhibition will further engage people with their local heritage by using newspaper archives, oral history recordings stored in other museums, private artefacts and archives, and other sources otherwise unavailable to residents. This is important as Crowborough does not currently have a local museum – so much of this information is presently unavailable to residents.

Topics covered include the huge training camps which stretched from Crowborough, across the Ashdown Forest, the creation of Voluntary Aid Detachment hospitals in the town, welcoming the Belgian Refugees, and local resident Arthur Conan Doyle’s campaigning for better safety equipment for the troops, as well as his part in creating the Voluntary Training Corps, a pre-cursor to the Home Guard of the Second World War, in Crowborough.

It will also examine the signing of the Armistice and the Peace Day Celebrations, creation of the town war memorial and commemoration of the Great War. We will also mark the centenary of women being giving the right to vote, with a celebration of the Suffragette movement.

The exhibition will be supported by Living History Children’s workshops and a Children’s Creative Art Project which will offer local children a chance to physically engage with and learn about their town during the war. This will include learning to make Poppies, and handling weapons and various replica artefacts from the time.

Women during the First World War
Crowborough War Memorial on Chapel Green

Life on the Frontline

WW1 Soldier in gas mask
World War 1 soldiers and mediacl kit
World War 1 soldier

Frontline Living History is dedicated to communicating the past in a way which is engaging, interactive, immersive and fun. They will be interacting with visitors to the exhibition and leading a children’s workshop.

Soldier writing a letter home

Speaker Programme

Crowborough’s War 1914-1918

Date: Monday 22 October
Time: 4pm
Location: Beacon Academy Main Hall, Beeches Road North, Crowborough

Speaker: Paul Adams

Paul Adam’s book, Crowborough’s War 1914-1918 is a well-researched account of Crowborough’s part in the Great War covering both the locals who served and those who “passed through” the camps in the area. The book contains a good selection of photographs both of the area and individuals and indeed was the inspiration for the Crowborough Remembers project.

Biography: Paul comes from a long-established Crowborough family and was born at the Crowborough War Memorial Hospital and spent his childhood in the town. After leaving Beacon School in the 1970s he worked in nearby Tunbridge Wells for a few years before heading off to the West Country, where he studied History and Ecology at Bristol, reflecting his life-long interests in these subjects. After graduating, he spent the next two decades working for various environmental and conservation organisations in the Bristol & Bath area, including ten years with the Organic food and farming organisation the Soil Association at their HQ in Bristol. He returned to Crowborough in 2002 to take the helm of his family’s business. He has previously served as a school governor and on Crowborough Town Council, where he played a leading role in establishing Crowborough’s first country park. His book, Crowborough’s War, was published in 2013.

Paul Adams Crowborough's War book cover


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the case of the Steel-Plated Soldier

Date: Tuesday 23 October
Time: 3.30pm
Location: Beacon Academy Main Hall, Beeches Road North, Crowborough

Speaker: Phillip Abbott

Inspired by a collection of letters received by Conan Doyle during the First World War, Philip Abbott sets out to explore the campaign to provide body armour to British troops serving in the trenches. Setting the letters in the context of the terrible losses suffered on the Western Front, Abbott reveals the actions of the War Office and the Ministry of Munitions in providing better protection for the troops. He examines Conan Doyle’s motives for involvement, and investigates the part he and others played in promoting the development of helmets, body armour and shields.

Biography: Philip Abbott is a graduate in History from Manchester University, and is Archives and Records Manager at the Royal Armouries, the National Museum of Arms and Armour.

Steel Clad Soldier Cover

Geoff Hutchinson is Rudyard Kipling in a dramatic interpretation of his Life and Verse

Date: Wednesday 24 October
Time: 11.30am & 2.30pm
Location: Beacon Academy Main Hall, Beeches Road North, Crowborough

Speaker: Geoff Hutchinson

A one-man-show performed by Geoff Hutchinson which combines moving drama and history. Through a variety of readings, we are transported back in time as the son of Empire’s life story unfolds. Kipling lived in Burwash, and was a friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who lived at Windlesham Manor in Crowborough. Both literary giants of there day and both lost sons as a consequence of the greatest conflict of modern times.

Entry is Free but to book your place click on the Ticket Source link:

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Geoff Hutchinson

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