ROTARY ROUND-UP: Rotary members join commemorations in France

Councillor Vic Walker (centre holding the wreath) with members of Worthing Rotarians who travelled to Richebourg to participate in the service
Councillor Vic Walker (centre holding the wreath) with members of Worthing Rotarians who travelled to Richebourg to participate in the service

This week, Gerald Illsley, from the Rotary Club of Worthing Steyne, gives an update on the latest and future goings-on.

Richebourg, France, June 1916 – 365 local Sussex men killed; over 1,000 men from the 1st Southdown Battalion wounded.

This was a Battalion of true Sussex stock, raised earlier in the year.

In August 1916 the Battalion moved down to the Somme and suffered more casualties.

In November 1916, in the wet and mud of Ypres, they fought in the battle of Passchendaele.

By the end of 1917 there were few of the original “Sussex Lambs” left.

These are the stark facts.

And the residents of Richebourg commemorate the battles every year.

Worthing Steyne Club members and members of the other two local clubs have travelled to Richebourg in recent years.

Worthing Steyne Club is proud to join the commemorations.

Last month we went to France to mark the occasion.

Our links remain strong with Richebourg.

This year club members, town councillor Vic Walker, and Gary Baines, chairman and founder of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, the organizer of the trip, joined the citizens of Richebourg to commemorate and show respect to the loss of the Sussex Lambs and other military personnel, notably from Portugal and India, in defence of the town and local area.

This year we were able to witness a special event for Worthing, to mark the closeness of the two towns.

Richebourg has a new name for one of its streets, allée de Worthing, appropriately leading to a new local school – and perhaps a new era as the centenary of the 1916 battles approaches.

Last month club members also helped the Worthing Churches Homeless Project in a street collection in the town, which raised £1,800 for the charity.

A very worthwhile contribution to this local charity. Thank you Worthing.

Our other big events this summer will include a strawberry tea party at Lancing, our one-and-only car boot sale at Shoreham, the Rotary Worthing Carnival and our jumble sale.

We are always delighted to meet local people and support local events ourselves.

Come along and meet us – no obligations – to find out what else do and we are planning for 2015, every Monday evening at the Ardington Hotel.

Details of Worthing’s three Rotary clubs are:

• Worthing Rotary Club meets Monday, 12.55pm, at the Chatsworth Hotel, in The Steyne, Worthing, 01903 262222.

• West Worthing Rotary Club meets Tuesday evening at Tudor Close, Ferring, 01903 535900.

• Worthing Steyne Rotary Club meets Monday evening at The Ardington Hotel, in Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 01903 234957.

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