Now is the time for marching,
Now let your hearts be gay,
Hark to the merry bugles
Sounding along our way.
So let your voices ring, my boys,
And take the time from me,
And I'll sing you a song as we march along,
Of Sussex by the Sea! 1

To mark the centenary of the First World War the Ashdown Forest Research Group wrote case studies of all the men—113 in total—who died while on military service during the war and who are commemorated by the war memorials at Forest Row and Hartfield, Sussex. These villages lie on the northern fringes of Ashdown Forest and traditionally have strong links with the forest. Click here to read an illustrated online essay which presents an overview of how the project was undertaken and which discusses the key findings that have emerged from the research. The studies are updated from time to time in the light of new information, and we welcome any corrections, supplementary information or photographs that may be of interest. Please contact us by email. Click on any man's name below to view their case study.

Commemorated at Forest Row

Baker, Pte George Frank Martin, Capt William Gerald
Bannister, L/Cpl William Henry Miles, Pte Walter Alfred George
Biddlecombe, Seaman Henry George Mills, L/Cpl Albert
Brand, Pte Albert Victor Mitchell, Pte Albert
Brooker, Pte Charles Frederick Padgham, Pte Spencer
Brownlow, Capt Wilfred Herbert Cecil Padgham, Pte William
Cannon, Pte Ernest Edward Page, Pte Harry
Cook, Pte Sidney Herbert Pannett, Pte Reginald Henry
Cox, Pte Raymond Parker, Pte Edward John
Draper, Bomb. Thomas James Parker, Pte William George
Dunstan, Cpl Herbert George Richardson, Pte Albert Edward
Edwards, Pte Frederick Robert Robinson, Lt Cyril Charles
Farley, Sh.Sm. Victor Frederick Robson, Pte Robert Charles
Fisher, 2nd Lt Edmund Montagu Prinsep Sands, Pte Alfred Jesse
Fisher, Capt George Kenneth Thompson Sands, Pte William Thomas
Gladman, Pte Archibald Frederick Simmons, Pte James
Gordon, 2nd Lt Ronald Granville Simpson, Lt George
Grayer, Pte Harold Sippetts, Sgt Jack Frederick
Gregory, Pte George Snelgrove, Lt Sidney Henry
Grisbrook, Cpl Llewellyn Alfred Southey, Dvr Frederick Charles
Holmwood, Pte Frederick Styles, Pte William Joseph
Horlick, Maj Gerald Nolekin Sykes, Lt Col William Ernest
Kekewich, Capt George Syms, Pte Charles
Kekewich, Capt Hanbury Lewis Thomsett, Pte Philip
Kekewich, Capt John Tomsett, Pte Albert Ernest Standen
Kensett, Pte Henry James Upton, Pte Albert James
Lawrence, Capt Michael Charles Upton, Stoker Arthur
Lawrence, Capt Oliver John Villiers, Lt Algernon Hyde
Lucas, Capt Keith Waters, Lt Eric Gordon
Luxford, BSM Bernard Webber, Pte Frederick Percy
Luxford, Gnr Edward James White, Pte Albert Henry
Luxford, Sgt William Whitfield, Capt Nigel Bernard
Martin, Pte Walter  

Commemorated at Hartfield

Bassett, Spr Albert May, L/Cpl Ernest William
Bassett, Pte James Baldwin Medhurst, Spr John Arthur
Baylay, Lt George Frederick Mellor, Pte Benjamin Charles
Boakes, Pte Ernest Stanley Melville, Lt William Woodfall
Brown, Pte William George Peel, 2nd Lt Charles William
Burfoot, Pte Bertram Polehampton, Lt Frederick William
Divall, Pte Edward Shelley, Spr Ewbert John
Divall, Pte Reginald Stevens, Pte Charles Edward
Edwards, Pte Frederick Sylvester Stevenson, Pte George William
Fielder, L/Cpl Edward Cecil Stevenson, Pte John
Fielder, L/Cpl Frederick Stephen Sumner, Pte Alfred William
Fry, CSM Frederick Samuel Tester, Pte William Edgar
Harding, Pte Ernest Tibbles, Pte Frederick Charles
Heasman, Pte George James Titcomb, Pte Arthur William
Hill, Gnr Frederick William Vaughan, Dvr Ernest Stanley
Honeysett, Pte Thomas Edward Weeding, Tpr George
Humphrey, Pte Thomas Weeding, Pte John
Hyder, Pte Frank Weekes, Pte David
Kennard, Pte Arthur Wheatley, Pte Doctor
Killick, Pte William Wheatley, L/Cpl George
Leney, Pte Cyril Henry Wheatley, Pte Harry
Maskell, Pte George Wheatley, L/Cpl William James
Maskell, Pte Harry George Woodhams, Sgt Thomas Henry
Maskell, Pte Mark  
Post-war casualty: Wheatley, O/S Charlie


Parliamentary Recruiting Committee poster, 1915

This poster serves as a reminder that the devastating fighting on the Western Front during the First World War took place only a relatively short distance away from Sussex across the English Channel. For example, Ypres, shown on the poster by the soldier's left foot, lay only 125 miles away from Ashdown Forest. The constant rumble of the heavy bombardments could be heard, as the headmaster of Fletching School, Robert Saunders, noted in a letter to his son in Canada: 'The great blot on everything is the thud and throb of the guns night and day in France, and yesterday I could even hear them indoors.'  2



(Left) Early recruitment poster for the Southdown battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment
(Centre) The famous "Daddy, What Did YOU Do In the Great War?" recruitment poster
(Right) The start of full-scale conscription on 2 March 1916.


1  Source: The first verse of 'Sussex by the Sea', written by William Ward Higgs in 1907, and adopted as a marching song of the Royal Sussex Regiment in the First World War.   
2  Source: "Copies of weekly letters of Robert Saunders, headmaster of Fletching School, to his son in Canada" (East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office)   
Source for all images: the Imperial War Museum