Saturday, 27 August 2016

Crump the Builders and 'The Day Sussex Died'

Some interesting information about Crump the Builders, who used to have a yard at the top of Temple Street, number 24. You can see Crumps' sign painted on the south-facing wall in the best-known (and seemingly almost only) photo of early 1920s Temple Street.

The Crump sign at the top of Temple Street
Our oldest resident, Enid Gray, lived next door at number 23 before she moved over the road with her hairdressing salon to number 37, and she remembers being woken up in the morning by the Crumps barrows clattering about in their yard. See her story here



George Crump
...George's wife
George Crump and Sons worked all over the Brighton and Hove area, and built some of the large houses on Dyke Road which have since become Nursing Homes. One of the Sons was Clement Crump, who is seen below in uniform aged about 16. Chris Kilby from Southampton has contacted us about his personal connection:

...and Clement Crump, one of their sons
“Clement was my Grandfather. He was enlisted in the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex regiment, one of the Sussex 'pals Battalions’, most of whose men lost their lives in a diversionary attack the day before the Somme.

“You can read more about it if you Google 'The Day Sussex Died' or the 'Battle of the Boar's Head.'


'Pals kept together': a Southdowns recruiting poster

Men of the Southdowns Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, in 1915
The 11th, 12th and 13th Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, consisting of approximately 4,500 men, were known colloquially as “Lowther’s Lambs”. This was a reference to local MP Claude Lowther, who had taken personal responsibility for raising the battalions. 

The 12th and 13th Battalions, supported by the 11th, were sacrificed in a diversionary raid on the Boar’s Head salient at Richebourg on 30th June 1916 in an attempt to draw German attention away from the main Somme battle area further south. 

The Battle at Boar’s Head lasted less than five hours, but the Southdowns Brigade lost 17 officers and 349 other ranks. Over 1,000 men were wounded or taken prisoner, and the 13th Battalion was all but wiped out. June 30th 1916 was subsequently known as “The Day Sussex Died”. See the Royal Sussex Living History website for the full account.

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