The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

172                    HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
county and East Grinstead was put in the Third, with the Brighton, Cuckfield, Lewes and Battle Companies. It remained associated with this Battalion until January 22nd, 1862, when it was united to the 2nd Administrative Battalion of the Sussex R.V., the head quarters of which were at Petworth, where they remained until 1869, when they were removed to Horsham. On February 20th, 1874, the two Battalions were consolidated, and the head quarters have since been at Worthing. On February 7th, 1880, the existing Corps were formed into one Regiment, and that in East Grinstead became " C" Company of the 2nd Sussex Rifle Volunteers, after­wards the 2nd V.B. of the Royal Sussex Regiment. The Company wore the grey uniform until March, 1880, when the colour was changed to scarlet, the present drab uniforms being first worn in the spring of 1903.
The Boer War which broke out in 1899 gave the Volunteers their first chance to engage in active fighting. The East Grinstead men were possessed of a good deal of that spirit which animated the members of the North Pevensey Legion a century before and several members of "C" Company were among the first to offer their services. The contingent, consisting of 116 officers and men, under the command of the late Major Sir Walter Barttelot, sailed for South Africa on March 10th, 1900, and two months later a further draft of 21 was sent out. The Company embarked for home on May 15th, 1901, having seen some severe fighting, and leaving 16 of their number, including Private Caldwell, of the East Grinstead Company, buried beneath the African veldt. Meanwhile steps had been taken to form a second Active Service Company, and on April 27th, 1901, Lieut. S. W. P. Beale, of the East Grinstead Company, and who was given the temporary rank of Captain, sailed in command of 115 officers and men. They remained in South Africa 12 months. A third contingent was sent out on April 17th, 1902, but the war was over before it reached the scene of actual fighting, and this third Company returned immediately.
Previous Contents Next