Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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76                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. VI.
1200 men. On the inspection day, August 25, 1900, no fewer than 876 officers and men were in camp. Of course these were not all East-Bourne men, the towns of Brighton, Newhaven, Seaford, Bexhill, and Hastings having joined in the movement. The War Office lent us the Great Redoubt at East-Bourne as our first Head-Quarters, and we took it over on April 21, 1890. I look back on our various camps at Sheffield Park, Rye, Shorncliffe and Arundel with the greatest possible pleasure ; on Sheffield Park especially, because the late Lord Sheffield, who was our Honorary Colonel, took much pains during many years to make things pleasant for us. I could write what, I think, would be a very interesting account of our camps at Sheffield Park, one of which, that of 1900, extended over 4 weeks ; but it would occupy too much space in this volume which has already grown far beyond its intended original dimensions.
I cannot, however, forbear from giving 2 anecdotes. To understand the point of the first it must be mentioned that the late Lord Sheffield was a very shy, retiring man, whom it was very difficult to draw out into public gaze. One day when we were in camp (I forget the year) he sent for me to inquire whether we could throw a military bridge over his lake. I replied that so far as •construction was concerned there would be no difficulty, lout that the economical War Office only supplied us with bridging materials sufficient for the length of 50 ft., whilst the breadth of the lake must be nearly 200 ft. He thereupon said, " If I find the materials will your fellows build the bridge ? " To this I replied in the affirmative. His Lordship instructed his Agent to scour the country and collect as many oil casks and planks as possible. This was successfully done and the bridge was built, 180 ft. long. Lord Sheffield was so delighted that he allowed himself to be photographed standing alone on the bridge as if " monarch of all he surveyed." His Agent, Mr. Colgate, afterwards told me that it was a great proof of his Lordship's satisfaction that he had allowed himself to be photographed, for, he added, " I have never known him
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