Award boosts research into World War 1 battle

A little remembered attack of the First World War that was a bloody curtain raiser to the Somme is to be further researched.

Storrington and District Museum received its third Heritage Lottery Fund award in as many years for the work.

The money will help the group research the Battle of Boar’s Head which involved local men from Sussex the day before the Battle of the Somme, a hundred years ago.

 The group says that little is known of this early morning attack of the June 30 in 1916 which was to divert German attention away from the Battle of the Somme which began the following day. Those involved were from the 12th and 13th (Southdowns) Battalions (11th Battalion was kept in reserve) of the Royal Sussex Regiment, men from the surrounding area and from across east and west Sussex.

 Almost 350 men died that morning with many more receiving serious injuries. One of those men was John French who lived on School Hill. A further seven men’s names can be found on local war memorials surrounding Storrington.

 This is the third award from the Heritage Lottery Fund that the Storrington and District Museum has received. In 2013 the first award was to research the village school where an annual school reunion takes place each September. The next award in 2014 was for the Roll of Honour which now hangs on the walls outside of the White Horse Hotel in Storrington’s High Street. It first appeared there in 1917.

 The centenary volunteers hold annual exhibitions and support community projects like “Poppies on the Pond”, where pupils of Rydon Community College made ceramic poppies for the island on the memorial pond on the Pulborough road, each poppy represents a serviceman on the war memorial.

 If you would like to be part of this project by helping in research or being part of the Storrington and District Museum please contact Stuart Duncan on 01903 740188 or email

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