Brighton and Hove commemorates outbreak of WWI

Posted On 26 Jul 2014 at 11:26 am
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Communities across Brighton and Hove will be remembering the start of the First World War with open air ceremonies on 3 and 4 August.

Indian Hospital at the Royal Pavilion

Indian Hospital at the Royal Pavilion

Residents, visitors and organisations are invited to come together at the city’s memorial service on Sunday, 3 August at 2.45pm and remember how the First World War touched the lives of people in Brighton and Hove.

The Drumhead and Interfaith service will be held on the east lawns of the Royal Pavilion. It is being co-ordinated by Brighton & Hove City Council with the Royal British Legion and will be led by the Bishop of Chichester, the Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner. (The east lawns are at the front of the Royal Pavilion).

Brighton & Hove’s Mayor, Cllr Brian Fitch, and Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, will also attend along with religious leaders, cadets, and veterans. Cadets will build an altar from drums and the children will scatter poppy leaves.

Monday, 4th August, 2014 marks the date 100 years ago when Britain entered the conflict. A wreath laying service will take place at the Royal Sussex Regiment War Memorial in Regency Square at 10.45am, with the Mayor present. Space is limited at the site, so anyone wishing to attend this act of remembrance should contact the council on (01273) 295514.

On the evening of August 4 a commemorative service of Tisha be Av is taking place at Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Avenue, at 6.30pm. Sons, daughters, and grandchildren of Jewish soldiers who fought in World War One are now members of Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Sussex. This service is part of the civic calendar of WW1 commemorative events and is open to all.

In a joint venture with the council, Brighton & Hove Bus Company is providing a WW1 Heritage Bus decorated with images of Brighton, Hove and Portslade as they were during the War.

It will be unveiled on August 4 and run on normal bus routes around the city for the next four years. Images include a photograph of a wedding between a nurse and an officer who was awarded the VC, Portslade camp and Robert Whiting, Brighton & Hove Albion’s goalkeeper, who fought in the war.

Information panels inside the bus provide further illustrations of life in the city during that time and more information can be found at

Images were sourced from East Sussex Records Office at The Keep, the Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries, and private collectors.

Martin Harris, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses, said: “I am delighted that we could work with the council in paying tribute to all those wonderful people of the city who played their part in so many different ways in WW1.”

A major exhibition War Stories: Voices from the First World War is at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery until March 1 2015.* The exhibition brings to life the wartime experiences of 13 individuals whose intensely personal memories and extraordinary stories reveal the impact of war.

Throughout the summer there is an exhibition* on the seafront of posters and photographs telling the story of how Brighton and Hove were transformed by the presence of the many military hospitals required to treat the increasing number of casualties returning from the Front. Dr Brighton’s War: Hospitals and Healing in Brighton can be seen until August 31.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “We will be remembering this historic anniversary in the city together with communities around the world.

“The war affected so many lives in so many different ways, and the council is supporting organisations with events and activities that reflect the courage, sacrifice and experiences of local people.”

A round up of these and other events is available on the council’s website and at VisitBrighton’s site.

Commemorative events this summer are the start of a four year programme of events which will culminate in the anniversary of Armistice Day in 2018.

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