Eastbourne soldiers: a look at the stories behind the names

With the First World War Armistice celebrations still at the forefront of people's minds, we take another look this week at the stories behind the names of those who took part in the conflict.

Saturday, 24th November 2018, 11:14 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 4:54 pm

One of them is Phillip Arthur Sharp, who was born in December 1898 to Mary-Anne Jane and Edwin Phillip Sharp who lived at 1 Bedfordwell Road.

Phillip was known as Peter and was educated in Eastbourne.

Peter’s son and daughter-in-law Derek and Greta Sharp, who live in Westham, write, “On leaving school, Peter joined his father’s timber business, Sharps Speciality Manufacturing Co in Tideswell Road.

Peter Sharp Eastbourne SUS-181120-123925001

“In 1914, at the outbreak of war, Peter was considered underage for active service.

“The following year, although not 17 until December, he volunteered for service with the Royal Sussex Regiment and joined one of the Cinque Ports Battalions where he became known as Pte P A Sharp B.Company, No 202179 4th/5 Reserves Royal Sussex Regiment.

“Receiving bullet wounds to his right hand, he was repatriated with many others to recuperate at the Summerdown Camp in Old Town where soldiers became known as Blue Boys from wearing the distinctive uniform.

“He returned to the family business and normal life. He met his future wife Sally Bunsaul from Mayfield who worked in Eastbourne and they married at St Dunstans Church in Mayfield on August 11 1928.

“Their home was a bungalow in the village of Westham and the couple had one son, Derek, born in 1929. Life seemed good.

Peter enjoyed his garden growing fruits and vegetables.

“Within 10 years the horror of war was again declared. Peter’s wife, son and mother were evacuated.

“The family business was destroyed by bombing.

“Too old for call up, Peter once again volunteered for service and he was posted for security duty to the new RAF Pevensey Radar Station on the Marshes.

“Sadly he contracted polio, which was untreatable then, and died on April 4 1942 aged 43.”