To mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War Looking Back this week is dedicated to those who were involved in the conflict.
The recent Roll of Honour of names of those Eastbournians who lost their lives proved very popular among readers as did the various photos of memorials around the town including the one at Ascham St Vincent’s Memorial Arch in Carlisle Road. Readers may be interested to know that the Eastbourne Local History Society is putting together a booklet on the 51 names who are on the arch.
Liz Moloney, from the Eastbourne Local History Society, writes, “Your picture of the Ascham St Vincent’s Memorial Arch in Carlisle Road prompts me to mention that all 51 men whose names are on the Arch (despite the statement on the front of the Arch that there are 49 names) are being researched by members of the Eastbourne Local History Society and Eastbourne College.
The booklet we hope to publish by early 2015 will tell their stories with their pictures and will also include some background about the schools they attended: Ascham House, St Vincent’s and after 1908, the merged school Ascham St Vincent’s.
We are building on work begun several years ago by Pat Massey.
Many readers will also remember the successful fund-raising drive for the restoration of the Arch a few years ago led by David Stevens, nephew of Major William Guy Harington, one of the men named there.
Only the six Ascham St Vincent’s men – two Dilberoglues, Finnimore, Harington, Lyte and Tollemache – whose family had an Eastbourne address at the time of their death are also included on the Eastbourne Roll of Honour.
Our researches have shown that several more had much closer ties with Eastbourne than just attending prep school here.
For example, the managing engineer of the Eastbourne Electric Light Company through the 1890s, Alan Wall Wilkinson, lost two sons, both of whom had been born in Eastbourne: one was a Royal Flying Corps pilot killed in air combat over France, one a soldier killed in action in Persia.
Because the family had moved back to London, their Eastbourne connection is preserved only on the Arch.
Frederick Hugh Geoffrey Trumble had lived in The Moorings, St John’s Road, from the age of 10 until he went away to train for the Royal Navy, but after his father’s death in 1915 his mother moved to Hayward’s Heath.
So he is on their Roll of Honour – though he can only ever have visited his mother there when on leave in the last year or two of his life.
The survival of the names on the Arch has enabled us to find these links to Eastbourne.
It has not been possible to trace descendants of all the men, but there have been some interesting discoveries, which will be revealed in due course.”
Other memorials are at the Flying Angel roundabout and Hampden Park.