“As a result of the First World War, the town of Lewes suffered more than 350 casualties, of whom 236 are recorded on the war memorial.
“They are represented by our 236 torch bearers tonight.
– Read at Lewes War memorial, 12.11.2017
Lewes Remembers 1914-1918 was a unique vigil commemorating Lewes soldiers who lost their lives as a result of the First World War. It was the final act in 2017 for Stories Seen Through A Glass Plate – in which light box images relating to the 1914-1918 period were exhibited throughout the town in relevant locations. The project linked The Edward Reeves Archive with the East Sussex County Archive and actively engaged hundreds of young men. The experience of the ritual intensified the awareness of what it would have meant for a small community to lose so many of its young men. The event had a profound effect on both participants and onlookers alike.
The Lewes War Memorial records 236 names of Lewes residents who died in World War 1. There were approximately 350 local casualties, many of whose names are commemorated elsewhere in the town. At dusk on 12th November 2017, 235 men and one woman of the age of those who died walked with a flaming torch from the home addresses of the fallen soldiers to the War Memorial, where their torches were extinguished. Where more than one person in a family died the men doused their torches together.
The Lewes Remembers vigil on 12th November 2017 was created by nearly 500 Lewes volunteers with the support of the seven Lewes Bonfire Societies and the staff at Lewes Town Hall. Without their commitment and logistical work behind the scenes none of this could have happened. All services were provided free of charge and a small grant from Friends of Lewes paid for the information leaflets and the badges of the participants.
In order to share the event with the wider community, a short film was made by four professional filmmakers resident in Lewes. It was directed by Tony Dowmunt and Mick Hawksworth. The ‘Lewes Remembers’ film is a Lewes Community Screen Production in collaboration with the London College of Communication, UAL and the Edward Reeves Archive Project, who initiated the Remembrance Day event.
LEWES REMEMBERS (2017)
Event conceived by Brigitte Lardinois, Tania Osband & Tom Reeves
Lewes Town Council
All the volunteers and organisations who made this possible
The Lewes Bonfire Societies:
Cliffe Bonfire Society
Commercial Square Bonfire Society
Lewes Borough Bonfire Society
Nevill Juvenile Bonfire Society
Southover Bonfire Society
South Street Bonfire Society
Waterloo Bonfire Society
Extract of To Any Dead Officer by Siegfried Sassoon
Copyright Siegfried Sassoon by kind permission of the Estate of George Sassoon
Directors – Tony Dowmunt & Mick Hawksworth
Editor – Mick Hawksworth
Producers – Brigitte Lardinois & Tony Dowmunt
Production Manager – Yaz Norris
Cameras – Tony Dowmunt, Mick Hawksworth, Abigail Norris, Andy Porter, Jerry Rothwell and Sky Film – Sussex & Surrey
An Edward Reeves Archive Production in association with Lewes Community Screen and the London College of Communication UAL
Copyright Edward Reeves Archive
All rights reserved
“A moving and spine-chilling tribute to our fallen heroes”
The Sussex Express article and cover feature, 11th November 2017.