A Sussex War Grave and its Literary Connection.

The name Horatio Hornblower will be known as a gallant but fictional Royal Navy Officer during the Napoleonic Wars. He has been played on film by Gregory Peck and more recently Ioan Gruffudd.  But where did this unusual name come from? Edward Sibun Hornblower was born in Southwark, London on 13th November 1873.  His father…

The Sussex Doctor who discovered Dyslexia

About 7,000 miles away from Seaford in the centre of the Argentinean city of Buenos Aires is a clinic specialising in helping children with dyslexia. Amazingly, the W. Pringle Morgan Institute is named after a Sussex doctor. Morgan is one of the unsung heroes of our county and, apart from a brass plaque in the…

The Bow Street Runners and the Sussex Shipwreck

The origins of our Police are interesting.  Although most people have heard of the Bow Street Runners, they were not like the police of today and surprisingly they operated not only in London, but across the country, often in Sussex. The Middlesex Justices Act 1792 saw the creation of seven offices in the capital, each…

How to celebrate St Clement’s Day

Will you be celebrating St Clements Day on 23rd November? Your ancestors did! It is believed that Clement was an early Pope imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Trajan who packed him off to the Crimea to work in a mine.   Undaunted, he miraculously made a spring appear to help his fellow workers. These men…

Remember Remember

Last month I had the honour of introducing the visiting Bonfire Societies to Seaford for the annual Guy Fawkes celebrations.  I love bonfire and probably recite the Bonfire Prayers – “Remember Remember the Fifth of November” more than most people. As a tour guide in the Palace of Westminster – the Houses of Parliament I recite…

The only female Sussex Saint

Last week I visited the Church of St Candida in the isolated Dorset village of Whitchurch Canonicorum.   It is the only parish church in England to contain the relic of a saint.  Saint Wite.  The Latin name for Wite is Candida, hence the name of the church. The shrine of the saint contains three…

Seaford’s Saddest Day

TODAY 100 years ago 3rd September 1916 was one of the darkest days in Seaford’s history with five local men being killed within 24 hours. They were all members of the Royal Sussex Regiment. Four of the men were members of the 11th (South Downs) Battalion.  Known as Lowther’s Lambs as they had been recruited…

How Exceat was discovered

Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the death of Maurice Lawrance of West Dean. The summer of 1913 was dry and hot and Maurice Theodore Lawrance, the 15 year old son of the rector of West Dean Church, was in the fields above the Cuckmere River when he spotted some indentations in the field which…

A Sussex Corn-cure

In the late 1920s poor old Mr W. S. Galloway from Seaford had very bad feet, but rather than complain about his ailments he decided to do something about it. He began to experiment with various solutions in order to relieve and remove his corns. Some accounts (possibly libellous) say that he used as a…

The Sussex Cyclist and his lasting legacy

Overlooking the Cuckmere Valley between Alfriston and Seaford is a viewing point provided by the Rees Jeffrey Fund.   Rees Jeffrey was a cyclist who did more then most people to ensure our roads are safe. William Rees Jeffreys was born in Paddington, London in 1872 but lived in Sussex.  He was a keen cyclist…

Beacons for the Queen (and the French!)

Next week beacons will be lit all over Sussex, and indeed the whole country, to commemorate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen. Beacons have been used for many years for celebration and also as a means of communication. This was particularly the case to warn us good Sussex folk from invasion against the…

Winifred’s Service in the Great War

Winifred Mary Wilcox was born in Condover a few miles to the south of Shrewsbury in Shropshire.  He parents were Edward and Edith Mary Wilcox. Her father was an Agricultural Labourer.  In 1906 Winifred’s father died and the family moved to Liverpool where they took a house at 78, Macdonald Road, Wavertree.  The 1911 Census…