Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. VI.]                Military Episodes.                             81
Writing to me under date of December 9, 1873, Mr. F. W. H. Cavendish remarked, " A very old man, who recollects the Martello Tower being built, tells me that where Anthony's Tower stands was always known as the ' Hill Field,' and was much the same as it is now. The old man's name is Morris." This allusion to Anthony's Hill had reference to a question which had been raised as to whether that hill was a natural or an artificial mound.
The only famous military commander I ever knew at East-Bourne was Lord Napier of Magdala. He with his wife and children had a house in College Road for some months in 1883. He was a singularly quiet and unassuming man to talk to. I well remember an interview with him on February 3 of that year.
Not at East-Bourne, but at Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells, I once met Lord Wolseley. He was calling there, I think by appointment, to see that interesting old Jacobean House ; I dropped in by chance to get some tea. His conversation turned on various non-military topics, including the merits of port wine as a drink. I never met him during his sojourn at Glynde some years later, though I had on one occasion to propose a vote of thanks to his daughter for giving away the prizes at the Lewes School of Art.
The last time I visited the battle-field of Waterloo, which was in 1897, I brought away from Hougomont, a pocketfull of horse chestnuts. These were planted in my garden at East-Bourne, and several developed into healthy trees; one of these, transplanted to Sydenham, is now (1910) 12ft. high.
A Cavalry Officer who, as Earl of Dundonald, acquired great fame in the South African War came to East-Bourne on April 6, 1882, only as Lord Cochrane, and Chairman of a public Company. The Company was that formed to work a certain patent called Shone's Ejector for lifting sewage from a low to a higher level. The system was adopted by the East-Bourne Local Board and it was as a member of that body I suppose that the Company invited me to their luncheon at the Queen's Hotel, on the date above-named.
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