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Website charting county’s part in WWI

World War One gas chamber at Seaford for training troops against gas attacks. By Fred Varley, copyright Canadian War Museum SUS-140608-110425001

World War One gas chamber at Seaford for training troops against gas attacks. By Fred Varley, copyright Canadian War Museum SUS-140608-110425001

A new website has been launched chronicling the role played by East Sussex during the First World War.

The site, created by East Sussex County Council, has been launched to coincide with Monday’s 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the conflict.

It includes moving stories, evocative photographs and wartime ephemera showing how the war touched the lives of people in East Sussex, as well as details of events being held to mark the anniversary.

Cllr Keith Glazier, leader of East Sussex County Council, said, “Because of its location and activities during the war, the boundary between the home front and war front was blurred in East Sussex more than anywhere else in Britain.

“The sound of the guns from France could regularly be heard from the Sussex coast and soldiers from around the world were stationed here, while East Sussex ports were used to ship out equipment and to accommodate wounded soldiers returning from the front.

“This website will act as a permanent legacy to ensure future generations will remember the vital role played by East Sussex and the tremendous sacrifices people here made for their country.”

Stories currently featured on the website include tales of the defences put in place to protect Sussex from invasion or Zeppelin attack; how the hills near Seaford sheltered a gas chamber to train troops to survive this new, deadly weapon; the women of Eastbourne’s Summerdown Camp who pioneered massage as a means of treating wounded soldiers and how Eastbourne provided a safe haven for Belgians fleeing the fighting in their country.

The website, which includes details of World War One events across East Sussex, can be found at www.eastsussexww1.org.uk

There is also information about events in the county to mark the centenary of the First World War.

 

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