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Military: Soldier to Officer: Week Two

Written by RSS Poster The Official British Army Blog
Hayley Larcombe served in the British Army as a qualified nurse for nine years. After a successful career, including deployments to Afghanistan and Kenya, she decided to apply for a commission into the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps as an officer. She was successful at the Army Officer Selection Board and has recently started […]


Military: Soldier to Officer: Week One

Written by RSS Poster The Official British Army Blog
Hayley Larcombe served in the British Army as a qualified nurse for nine years. After a successful career, including deployments to Afghanistan and Kenya, she decided to apply for a commission into the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps as an officer. She was successful at the Army Officer Selection Board and has recently started […]


Military: Being a Reservist Peacekeeper

Written by RSS Poster The Official British Army Blog
Army Reservist Private Belinda Houghton (25) from Blackpool is currently serving as a Kingsman in the 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment as part of the United Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) mission. Leaving my family in Blackpool and my nurse training in Lancaster behind as I started my journey to Cyprus was difficult, […]


Military: Monuments Men: Part One

Written by RSS Poster The Official British Army Blog
It has been more than 70 years since the British Army last had the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives sections during the Second World War. Their job was to protect, stabilise and recover cultural property on the battlefields of North Africa, Italy and, after D-Day, across northern Europe. Lt Colonel Tim Purbrick, an Army Reservist […]


Military: Captain Clarence Smith Jeffries VC, 34th Battalion. AIF

Written by RSS Poster Out of battle


Captain Clarence Jeffries, 34th Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Passchendaele, Belgium. It was a posthumous award.

The 9th Australian Brigade suffered bitter losses in its ill-fated attack on Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. Before he became one of the officers killed there, Clarence "Jeff" Jeffries (1894-1917) had led attacks on German machine-gun posts, capturing several guns and killing or capturing their crews.

Jeffries was just 22 and his family was well known in the Newcastle region, where he had been a mining surveyor on the state's northern coalfields. After the war his father went to Belgium and for a while personally led an ultimately successful search for his grave.

Victoria Cross Citation:

'For most conspicuous bravery in attack, when his company was held up by enemy machine gun fire from concrete emplacements. Organizing a party, he rushed one emplacement, capturing four machine guns and 35 prisoners. He then led his company forward under extremely heavy enemy artillery barrage...

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Military: The Boar's Head - 30th June 1916 - Southdowns in Action

Written by RSS Poster Out of battle



The Eastbourne Gazette on 2nd August 1916, had these two reports of the action at 'Boar's Head'.

Southdowns in Action


Letter from Sergeant Rowsell


Writing from the V.A.D. Hospital, Fernlagul, Larkfield, near Maidstone on July 29th. Lance-Sergeant T.S. Roswell says:-

“As an old Eastbourian I have been a reader of your valuable paper for some years and I received it weekly in the trenches before I was wounded. I belong to one of the Southdowns Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment and am able to tell you that our long training in England enabled the men to become not only good fighters but good workers as well. If any trenches needed making or repairing by our division one of the ‘Southdowns’ Battalions was sure to get the job. With regard to the fighting, all were eager to go over the parapet to meet ‘Frtiz’ when the time came and the ‘Squareheads’ the other side of No Mans land soon learnt what they were up against. You were quite correct in your surmise that some day Sussex...

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Military: The Boar's Head - 30th June 1916 - The Wounded Officers Letter – “The Men Were Magnificent”

Written by RSS Poster Out of battle


This is another report in the Eastbourne Gazette on 19th July 1916. No name is given by the wounded officer, but his letter confirms the other reports without overemphasising the carnage of the attack.

The Wounded Officers Letter – “The Men Were Magnificent”

No warmer tribute to the splendid work of “Lowther’s Lambs” in the recent operation on the Western Front could be given than contained in a private letter by a wounded officer, who says:-

“The men were magnificent; there is no doubt about that. If the men in the rest of Kitchener’s Army are anything like the ‘Southdowns’ nothing will stop us now that we have made the right start.

Our divisional General said only a few days before the beginning of this great push, “You men (meaning the Southdowns) do not require leading, we know their reputation.” And he was right. When their officers and men fell on the survivors went, right through the hell of fire. ‘My...

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Military: The Boar's Head - 30th June 1916 - How The South Downs Fought - Eastbourne Hero

Written by RSS Poster Out of battle

Reports continued to filter into the newspaper about the fighting on 30th June 1916. The Eastbourne Gazette on 26th July 1916 contained these reports.

The first is from a letter by Lieutenant Robinson where he writes about the heroism of CSM Nelson Carter who would later be posthumously awarded the V.C. for his actions during the battle.


"How the Southdowns Fought


Eastbourne Hero


Loses his life while rescuing comrades


In a private letter to a friend an Eastbourne officer, Lieutenant Harold C.T. Robinson, who is at home wounded, tells of the gallantry of a local soldier who lost his life in the great advance on the morning of June 30, while rescuing comrades who had fallen wounded over the parapet.

Lieutenant Robinson, who is the younger son of Mr. C. Wyndham Robinson, of Kya Lami, The Greys, Eastbourne, was the officer commanding A Company, 12th Royal Sussex Regiment and the soldier of whose heroism he speaks was Company-Sergeant Major N.V. Carter (formerly an attendant at...

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Military: The Boar's Head - 30th June 1916 - The South Downs Battalion

Written by RSS Poster Out of battle



On 30th June 1916 the Southdowns Battalions took a major part in their first battle. It was a diversionary operation at the village of Richebourg L’Avoue in northern France. A set piece battle had been planned to straighten out the line of a German position known as Boar’s Head.

The first reports started to trickle back in early July 1916 together with the start of the Battle of the Somme which was further south. The casualties from the the Somme were enormous, in fact the 1st July 1916 was the worst day in the history of the British Army; 60,000 casualties either, dead, wounded or missing.

The Battle of 'Boar's Head' has today been largerly forgotten about, in fact many books about that time do not even mention it. The cost to the three South Downs Battalions and to the people of Sussex was terrible. The total causalities were 15 Officers and 364 other ranks killed or died of wounds and 21 Officers and 728 other ranks wounded. In total nearly 1,100. A conservative count of men killed...

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Military: AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN

Written by RSS Poster Tony McNally


































Military Blog List

Tony McNally (2896)
Rogue Gunner (1466)
UK Forces Afghanistan (750)
The Official British Army Blog (367)
Daly History Blog (307)
Rafairman's Blog (86)
Out of battle (69)
Mack (24)

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