War beyond Shoreham Camp

The attached extract is from a book originally written by Fred Knight who was an ordinary soldier in the Canadian armed forces during WW1 and my grandfather. He was billeted close to Shoreham so his story compliments the information regarding the camp.

I had always been immensely proud of my grandfather who had fought bravely in WW1 and was therefore overjoyed when I was informed that a lost draft of his life story had been found and published by my cousin Graham. While I found reading about his adventurous life a real pleasure, I was completely surprised to discover that he was billeted in the camp at Shoreham where I have lived for the past 25 years. He had talked fondly of his time in the area prior to being sent to France and so I am very pleased to have extracts from his WW1 soldering experiences placed on the Shoreham history website close to the information about the camp.

Brian Knight 2021

The extract shown here is just of the 4 chapters that cover Fred’s travel to Shoreham Camp and his time serving and recovering during World War 1. The full published book can be found in bookshops or at Amazon.

You can find more articles about Shoreham during World War 1 here.

The Army Camp at Shoreham 1914 – 1918

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Following the commencement of hostilities Lord Kitchener was appointed Secretary of War and it was he that laid the format for the organisation of four separate armies. Shoreham with a railhead, seaport and airport in a strategic position on the south coast became the location for forming the 24th Division, part of Kitcheners Third Army or K3 as it was known..

24div
The sign of the 24th Division

Almost before the ink was dry on the recruiting posters men started arriving by rail at Shoreham and local territorial soldiers began creating a tented camp on the Oxen Field to the north of Mill Lane. The close proximity of the railway station to the field meant that heavy equipment could more easily be hauled there. Initially, there were no instructors to train the new recruits nor uniforms or small arms. The flood of men was so great that the churches and townsfolk were needed to assist with providing temporary housing and food for them. As new recruits continued to arrive it was not long before Buckingham Park was also being used as a tented army camp with a field kitchen and latrines dug to provide a modicum of hygiene. The local Territorial soldiers were engaged to set up the spacing for tentage and supervise raw recruits by organising swimming parties on the Beach and holding basic roll calls to keep unsworn trainees busy.

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Middle Road Secondary School

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– the new school photographs and plans in 1936 with reminiscences of former pupils from the 1940’s to 1990’s

Built in 1936 on a five-acre site in Middle Road, Kingston, where the recreation ground is now but then in land that had largely been used as fruit orchards and nurseries by the Cook’s Jam Factory in Dolphin Road. Initially opened as a boys’ senior elementary school for 360 pupils it included a number of unusual features (for those days) in both design and construction. It was built of reinforced concrete and flat roofs to allow for future extensions to be placed on top of the ground floor building and enabled wider spans for rooms that, with the large Crittall windows also installed gave pupils and teachers a bright and spacious environment.

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Sea Captains’ Mutual Benevolent Society Insurance 1853

An historically important document recording the signatures of those Shoreham Master Mariners who took out insurance and assurance cover prior to their voyages. Each were indemnified for up to £40 against loss of their nautical instruments, charts and clothes and a full £40 in the case of their death payable to the widow or nearest relative. Shoreham born Thomas Brown Kirton of Queen’s Place who wrote and signed the front page conditions of the document was himself a shipowner.

The year 1853 could be misread as 1833 but has been discounted as many of the ships named were not built until after the latter. Some entries only show the year but a few do include a date – were these the date the ships were due to sail or just when they were added to the policy? In the case of James Francis of the War Hawk it had to be near the maiden voyage as the date entered was only six days after the launching!

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A Southwick Quaker

Early Memories of a Southwick Quaker

A unique record of the 1830’s Southwick childhood reminiscences of Lucy Rickman Penney (nee Lucas). Documented by B. R. Bryant in 1913 it was discovered in Southwick resident Alf Browning’s collections and has been kindly loaned by Yvette Hammond and photographed by Neil De Ville.

The complete 42 page typed document includes the Lucas family’s travels to, and living at, various places far beyond our locality. Selected extracts have therefore been made together with additional background research to provide a little of the story of Lucy’s Quaker family during their residence at Southwick that include visits to the Brighton Meeting House and her father’s beautifully described walk to Portslade.

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The Early Bungalows

Before the bungalows arrived the chemical works, cholera hospital, coastguard station, and a few boat and fishermen’s huts were about the only buildings on the beach. The location of the earliest bungalows can be seen on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map. Matching this to the 1930’s Bungalow Town map and lists shows that these first bungalows were named, from west to east, Kittiwake, Arcadia, Struan Lee, Rhodesia, Lazyland, Sea View, Sea Spray, Coronation, Shoreham Dene, Waterville and Canaan (the empty rectangles were plots for later bungalow to be built on them but some don’t seem to have materialised.

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Paul Plumb

The Life of Paul Redgrave Plumb 1924 – 2012

Written by Nick Redgrave Plumb for his father’s funeral ceremony in 2012

Paul Plumb

Paul was born on November 22nd 1924 to Daisy Ellen Plumb (formerly Barnes) and Ernest Redgrave Plumb at 27, Queens Place in Shoreham. He had an older brother Allen and sister Doris. 

When he came into the world Doris immediately sent brother Allen to the Post Office (just over the road) where his Dad worked to tell him the good news. Allen ran all the way, so when he arrived he was completely out of puff and could hardly speak, but through the panting managed to say ….”It’s here!”. Paul had a thick mop of golden curls until the age of about 3. He remembered having a huge pram with big wheels & canopy and being pushed along by his sister Doris.

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