LOOKING BACK: Did you lose a relative on ‘The Day Sussex Died’?

Brave soldiers of Sussex
Brave soldiers of Sussex

This photograph, probably taken in early 1915, includes my uncle Private Frank Richards, second from right, back row, writes Chris Richards.

Do you recognise any of these names?

Did you have a grandfather or great grandfather who served with a SD prefix to his regimental number?

A list of Southdowns men is available at www.royalsussex-southdowns.co.uk, to check if your family name is there.

This year will be the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Boars Head which took place at the village of Richebourg in Northern France on June 30 1916 and involved the 11th, 12th and 13th Southdown Battalions of The Royal Sussex Regiment, which was formed in 1881.

This battle resulted in more than 1,000 casualties and became known in regimental history as the ‘Day Sussex Died’ as so many of the men killed or wounded were from across the county of Sussex.

At 5pm on June 30 2016 a commemoration service will take place at the St Vaast Post Military Cemetery near Richebourg to remember all the men who served in the Southdowns Battalions during the First World War and in particular the 1,128 men killed or wounded in this single action.

All are welcome to attend the Commemoration and of course descendents of these brave men will be particularly welcome.

Please contact either Chris Richards at chrisrichards2@sky.com or Dave Lester on david@lester-research.co.uk for further information and details about the reunion.

The Day Sussex Died is the story of the worst moment in Sussex’s military history. The 11th Battalion suffered 116 casualties while supporting the attack. The 12th Battalion lost 429 men either killed or wounded. The 13th, however, was destroyed with more than 800 men killed, wounded or captured.

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