Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. VI.]                  Crimean Days.                                73
Whilst their son was at East-Bourne, the Earl and Countess De La Warr stayed for some time in the town. Her ladyship's walking-out costume rendered her somewhat remarkable to look at. The De La Warr family have often attracted notice for unconventional conduct. In 1853, the first-born of the family of that generation, Viscount Cantelupe, was dead, and the next heir was the second son, who bore the title of Lord West. He served in the Crimea and commanded the 21st Foot. I remember him giving evidence before a Parliamentary Committee in favour of the Three Bridges and East Grinstead Railway. The next brother and heir to the peerage, Reginald W. Sackville-West, was a Sussex clergyman of very extreme High Church views and costumed accordingly. Eventually he succeeded to the Earldom and gave up his clerical costume, becoming a country squire much given to hospitality of very select sort at Buckhurst Park. Kings and Princes were his most appreciated guests there, though he kindly invited my wife and me to go over there one afternoon from East Grinstead which we did on August 7,1883. A visit of the King of Wurtemburg in 1853, is commemorated in Withyham Church by a painted window. By the way, there is in that same Church another painted window of great interest to people of an heraldic turn of mind, commemorating as it does, 28 Sackville marriages since the Conquest, with the armorial bearings of the parties. The more modern history of the family and their curious internecine peerage fights would be outside the purview of these pages.
Concerning the other officers there is nothing much to remark. One of the surgeons, Mr. Newham, rendered great service by his kindness during the dangerous illness of a member of my own family. It may be added, though it goes without saying, that the Regimental Band was very popular with the town-people. The officers gave a Ball on Wednesday, July 18, 1855, which was attended by the rank and fashion of the town and neighbourhood.
The military history of East-Bourne subsequently
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