Service to honour men lost in WWI on ‘The Day Sussex Died’

A previous ceremony at Worthing Town Hall to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War
A previous ceremony at Worthing Town Hall to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War
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Worthing and the town of Richebourg in Northern France, will conduct military services to honor the 100th anniversary of the loss of 366 men and boys.

During the now infamous WW1 Battle of Boar’s Head in Richebourg, the loss suffered by the Royal Sussex Regiment was so heavy the conflict has since been referred to as ‘The Day Sussex Died’.

Representatives from Worthing, including mayor Sean McDonald, will attend the ceremony in Richebourg, which will mirror the ceremony in Worthing​ on Thursday, June 30, at 5pm.

​T​he Worthing Combined Ex-Services Association (CESA), in conjunction with Worthing Borough Council, will hold a Drumhead Ceremony outside Worthing Town Hall. A message from the deputy mayor of Richebourg will be read out and 22 pupils from St Andrew’s C of E Boys School will ​lay crosses, ​representing the ​22 ​fallen soldiers from Worthing.

The Last Post will be performed by 12-year-old Grace Heath, from Sompting, who is the official bugler for the CESA.

The Lancing Brass ​Band of the Royal British Legion ​will also be playing.

Councillor Tom Wye, who has organised this event and advised on the service in Richebourg said: “The 30th June 1916 was the worst day of the entire WW1 conflict for Worthing, with at least 22 killed. Whilst other towns and cities commemorate the 1st July, the starting of the Battle of the Somme, it is fitting that Worthing commemorates and remembers those young men who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“We will remember each as an individual and will read out details of their ​all too short lives.”

An exhibition to mark this anniversary will be open to the public, with free entry, from Monday, June 27, through to Friday, July 1, from 9am-5pm. in Worthing Town Hall foyer.

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