Bells to Ring Commemorating Sussex Massacre

Memorials will be held on Thursday to commemorate Sussex's fallen heroes.

Photo: Paul Reed

When a war takes as many lives at the First World War, names can quickly be lost to history or reduced to a statistic. But the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, as well as churches all across Sussex, are doing their bit to ensure that isn’t the case.

The museum will host two sessions on Thursday 30th June, between 10am and 4pm, as part of their Discovery Day. Free admission to these exhibits means there’s no excuse to miss out on this staggering insight into Sussex history.

The Sussex Massacre is known by a couple of names. While it’s officially known as the Battle of Boar’s Head, it’s also colloquially and heartbreakingly referred to as “The Day Sussex Died”. A diversionary attack just one day before the infamous Battle of the Somme, local Royal Sussex recruits were slain in their attempts at going over the top. The 30th June 1916, Sussex lost its men and thus ended the worst day in the county’s history.

Members of the Royal Sussex Regiment gave their lives almost 100 years ago today - Photo: East Sussex WWI

Members of the Royal Sussex Regiment gave their lives almost 100 years ago today – Photo: East Sussex WWI

And on Thursday, marking 100 years exactly since the horrific battle, churches across Sussex will ring their bells in unison at 5pm. What makes these commemorative events even more poignant is the fact that there is no British monument or memorial to mark the Battle of Boar’s Head, so this will be a rare opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men who gave their lives and never returned to their home county.

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