LOOKING BACK: Memories of wartime enrolment

A group of Royal Sussex Regiment recruits during training at Lydd in 1914
A group of Royal Sussex Regiment recruits during training at Lydd in 1914

A collection of photographs of former Eastbourne Royal Sussex Regiment soldier in the First World War Robert Collier is coming together at the Redoubt.

They have been donated to the seafront museum by his grandson Hugh Dixon, an architectural historian who now lives in Northumberland.

Looking Back featured a photograph of enrolment day in Seaside in 1914 back in September last year and Mr Dixon has sent in more pictures.

Mr Collier (1891-1978) was working in the Eastbourne branch of the Capital and Counties Bank (later Lloyds) when, with many local friends, he joined up with the Royal Sussex Regiment in August 1914.

Mr Dixon writes, “Although my grandfather was an amateur photographer who often used a remote release in order to include himself in pictures, I think it unlikely that this is his photograph.

“He also kept a daily diary from the time when he and his unit arrived in France early in January 1915; from this it has been possible to discover what happened to several of the young men in the picture.

“I have been transcribing the diary which is not a great work of philosophy or literature - he writes like a bank clerk! - but has interest from its facts and locations.

“He was lucky in surviving the whole war, still being in France in 1919.

“For some while it has been my intention, if I survive, to produce occasional centenary extracts for members of the family.

“There are also some photographs, drawings and contemporary postcards.”

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