Soldier’s daughter searches for memories of regiment members

Christina Toubkin is keen to know if anyone recognises any of their relatives in this picture during their time at Birling Gap 1939 and 1940.

Christina Toubkin is keen to know if anyone recognises any of their relatives in this picture during their time at Birling Gap 1939 and 1940.

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THE DAUGHTER of a soldier who was stationed at Birling Gap is hoping to add to her compilation of anecdotes and photographs she has put together.

Anthony Toubkin was a member of the 1st Devonshire Regiment and his daughter Christina, who lives in Seaford, is hopeful that other members of the regiment and their relatives may have settled in or retired to the Sussex coast.

Anthony Toubkin with his fiance Sandy.

Anthony Toubkin with his fiance Sandy.

She has donated her work to museums and libraries across the country including the National Trust at Birling Gap, Redoubt Museum and library in Eastbourne, the museum and the library in Seaford and the Sussex Military History Society to name a few.

Her father was stationed at Birling Gap in the summer of 1939 before going to Burma as part of the forgotten fourteen.

Christina reflects, “I’m remember him telling me that here had been six of them, with 50 rounds of ammunition each – that was all there was to defend Britain from the invaders.

“Before it disappears from collective memories completely I hope that other people who have any additional photographs or memories who will come forward – anyone who lived in the area or had a direct connection to the area.”

She has put together information about her father’s time during the Second World War and entitled the piece ‘From Birling Gap to Burma And the Far East – The 1st Devonshires and the Outbreak of World War Two’.

Her research to date has uncovered that Albert H Arch, the photographer living at Birling Gap at the time, took photographs there. She said she has met the son of the people living in his cottage now who said there were often notices put up at the veranda at Birling Gap asking for information about people in the 1st Devonshire Regiment.

She is also keen to track down an autobiography of the film actor and playwright Hugh Williams who apparently wrote about being an officer in the 1st Devonshires and being stationed at Birling Gap at the start of the war, before embarking to Egypt.

She is asking anyone who has any additional memories to visit a venue where the folder is and hand in any information and photos.