The Day Sussex Died: 30th June 1916
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, but today is another anniversary – of a forgotten battle from the same year.
On 30th June 1916 the men of the 11th, 12th and 13th Battalions Royal Sussex Regiment (South Downs) fought a two and a half hour battle in the German lines close to the ‘Boar’s Head’ at Richebourg in Northern France. More than 360 South Downs men were killed and 1,100 wounded or missing. Veterans called it ‘The Day Sussex Died’.
The South Downs were unusual in Sussex as they were the nearest the county had to ‘Pals’ battalions; this photo shows men of the 1st South Downs at Cooden Camp near Bexhill on Sea, during their training there in September 1914. At this stage there were very few uniforms and most men slept under canvas. Morale in this unit was very high; something that continued well after the war as the Old Comrades Association continued to meet until 1979 and the last South Downer died in the early 1990s.
You can read more about the battle here:
like the site very much…so important to remember what took place
01/07/2012 at 11:37
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Remembering with love my Great Uncles: William Walter FARNFIELD SD1315 and Vincent Charles AMEY SD1654. Worthing boys,12th Battalion. Both survived the war. Thanks Paul for all your research. It is appreciated by so many.
17/09/2013 at 11:00
Remembering my brave,brave grandad L /cpl Adolphus Henry Sparks and his friends at the battle of Boars head. We Love you Grandad X
30/06/2016 at 00:33