Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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80                   Old Memo7*ies of Eastboimie. [Chap. VI.
The surviving members of both detachments were brought to the Devonshire Park on November 23, 1901, to receive their South African medals, which were distributed by the late Duke of Devonshire.
I have left to the last some account of 2 Royal visits with military objects in view which must receive a brief notice. In August 1860, a trial was made of some of the then newly-invented Armstrong guns by testing their powers against one of the Martello Towers (No. 71) which had become untenantable owing to the encroach­ment of the sea. The guns were mounted on the slope of Anthony's Hill, now, by building operations, quite a near suburb of East-Bourne. The guns were 3 in number: a 100-pounder, an 80-pounder, and a 40-pounder. The range was 1000 yards. The visitors who came to witness the experiments included the Duke of Cambridge, Field-Marshal Sir John Burgoyne, and the inventor of the guns, Sir William (afterwards Lord) Armstrong. The experiments were so far successful that by repeated shots the tower was seriously injured, but not beyond repair, and I fancy it was a surprise to the Officers present that the masonry proved so well able to withstand the shots which struck it. It spoke much for the quality of the work put into the towers 56 years previously, and showed that against the smaller and smooth-bore guns of the time the towers would have been of undoubted value to bar the approach of the French.
On August 31, 1874, the Duke of Cambridge again came to East-Bourne for some other Artillery experiments at Anthony's Hill, and I was called upon to comply with his request to be allowed to follow some of the shots through a 4-inch astronomical telescope which I had conveyed to the scene of the operations.
There were also Artillery experiments in 1876, at Langney on October 23, and at the Great Redoubt on November 3. I regret not to have preserved any notes or newspaper cuttings on these later events, and my Diaiy contains nothing more than a mention of the bare facts just stated.
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