The stories of WWI soldiers will be told in a poignant street exhibition across Eastbourne

Eastbourne Pals from Eastbourne Borough Council SUS-181030-104927001
Eastbourne Pals from Eastbourne Borough Council SUS-181030-104927001

A series of poignant pavement stories and twilight projections will mark out the former lives of WWI soldiers in Eastbourne’s first ever town-wide street exhibition, to commemorate the End of War centenary from November 5.

The display concludes a year-long research project, with volunteers and Heritage Eastbourne staff discovering the stories behind the 1,258 names listed on the Town Hall Memorial Board, along with many others who took part in and survived the terrible conflict.

Featuring 130 pavement panels outside the homes of former soldiers, a series of memorials will tell their individual stories, including where they lived, how they died, and in the case of those who returned – what happened to them next.

As well as an indoor exhibition at the Town Hall, the Eastbourne Borough Council commemorations will feature an outdoor twilight projection as night falls. Displaying the faces of Eastbourne soldiers who died in WWI, the touching projection will appear on the mayoral windows of the Town Hall building each evening from 5pm to 7pm until November 11.

The End of War project has seen extensive research into Eastbourne’s WWI heroes, funded by all wards and across all political parties, marking the 100 year centenary of the end of WWI.

Mayor of Eastbourne, Cllr Gill Mattock, said “This is the first time we have held such a wide ranging commemoration, and to be able to look into the faces and hear the stories of every single person who fought for Eastbourne and their country, is particularly emotive and thought-provoking.

“Every ward in Eastbourne is represented, showing the devastating impact the war had on our communities 100 years ago. Along with the many other events taking place around this Remembrance Day, we hope this exhibition helps many to remember and honour those who fought for our freedom so many years ago.”

Running throughout November, the project will also include a booklet and an online interactive map so residents can discover the locations and stories of all Eastbourne soldiers from World War One.

End of War is one of many events taking place in and around Eastbourne over Remembrance Day, including two memorial gardens in the new Beacon shopping centre, the annual Remembrance Day Parade on Sunday 11 November and an emotive display of silhouettes.

Funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund, the display at St Andrew’s Church in Seaside will see 10 Perspex silhouettes representing some members of the parish who lost their lives in the war.

St John’s Church in Meads will be holding a week-long festival of remembrance from November 5 to 11, opening the tower each day with an exhibition remembering the 69 local men who died in WWI, along with a 24-hour vigil, art exhibition, storytelling, drama, a memory workshop day with Age Concern, talks, school concerts, choirs and a Community Remembrance quilt.

A Community Peace Party on November 11 will also welcome The Lord Lieutenant to St Johns and a worship celebration includes X-Factor finalist Anton Stephans, who will sing at the event.

For more information visit www.heritageeastbourne.co.uk.