Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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74                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. VI.
to the Crimean War presents a few (but not many) points of interest. A rifle range was established on the " Crumbles" to the E. of the town, and parties of Guards and Infantry of the Line came down every summer for many years for rifle practice, changing every few weeks.
The Volunteer Movement of 1859 was taken up in due course at East-Bourne and a rifle company, which became the 19th Sussex, was formed, and reached a strength of about 70 officers and men. With much ceremonial a silver bugle was presented to the Corps on August 15, 1861, but the Corps did not have either a long or prosperous career. The Commanding Officer was Captain Frederick Freeman Thomas, the Squire of Eatton, who had been in the Rifle Brigade. Owing to his ill-health he was never able to give as much personal attention to the Corps as was desirable, and the effective command fell into the hands of 2 junior officers, neither of whom was sufficiently gifted for his work, and eventually the Corps was disbanded for insubordination. The insubordination was of a somewhat venial character from a civilian's point of view, but, of course, discipline had to be upheld. Attempts were made to start a new Corps, using up the best of the old members, but the effort was not carried through although the War Office gave some encouragement to it. Eventually a few of the best men were permitted to join the 3rd Sussex Artillery Volunteers about to be mentioned, and whose Head-Quarters were at Hailsham. The bugle above alluded to is still in East-Bourne, In the possession of Mr. T. Bennett. When the Corps was disbanded it had a balance to its credit of 40, which, after many years'" delay and a tremendous expenditure of red-tape, reached' the coffers of the Volunteer Corps now to be dealt with.
It was very soon after the Volunteer Movement began that Mr. G. Darby, the ex-M.P. and of many other useful vocations, conceived the idea that as Sussex was a seaboard county it needed an Artillery Volunteer force-quite as much as Rifles. He thought too that they should be Field Artillery. His personal influence soon enabled
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