World War I graffiti shown for first time at West Dean

Julian Martyr some of the World War 1 Graffiti discovered in .Westdean SUS-141009-150617001
Julian Martyr some of the World War 1 Graffiti discovered in .Westdean SUS-141009-150617001

Recently discovered World War I Canadian Expeditionary force graffiti will be on show at the Dovecote Garden in West Dean this weekend.

Barn repairs at the garden revealed the Canadian 70th Battalion details.

The farm within the grounds was requisitioned early in World War I and was later used by the Canadians for the Dieppe Raid in 1942 and the Allied Landings in 1944.

This weekend (Saturday and Sunday September 13 and 14) the barn will be open as part of the Heritage Open Weekend between 10am and 4pm.

The old Radio HQ used by the Quebecois will be used for the display.

The Dovecote, Nag’s Barn, Farrowing Barn and other archaeology from the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods will be open with a display of artefacts from three excavations.

Julian Martyr, at the Dovecote Garden, said, “There’s a 4,700-year history here at the farm starting with flint tools from the Neolithic era and a rare opportunity to look inside the Medieval Dovecote complete with its rotating ladder.

“West Dean Dovecote is the best preserved part of the old farm buildings which date from the medieval era.”

Entry and car parking is free and there will be a tea and homemade cakes stall as well as market stalls with local produce, from jams to Austrian Stollen, and gifts on sale.

The 70th Battalion, CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The battalion was authorised on August 15 1915 and recruited in the Ontario counties of Essex, Kent, Lambton and Middlesex.

The 70th Battalion embarked for Britain on April 25 1916, where it provided reinforcements to the Canadian Corps in the field until July 7 1916, when its personnel were absorbed the 39th Battalion.