Home > Orchestra > THE DAY SUSSEX DIED

On 30th June 1916, the Southdown Battalions, also known as “Lowther’s Lambs” of the Royal Sussex Regiment, were engaged in an attack 24 hours before the infamous “First Day of the Somme”. This was a large-scale raid launched by 39th Division at a position called the Boar’s Head near Richebourg L’Avoue. As a consequence of this fruitless attack, 1,100 casualties (dead, wounded and prisoners) were incurred; the vast majority of these losses were to men from the County of Sussex. For almost 97 years 30th June has held great significance for the people of Sussex, for the 30th June became known as “The Day Sussex Died”. Because of my military background, (I spent 8 years as a musician in The Queens’ Regiment), I felt that this was a great story to write music to. The piece, called The Day Sussex Died, is composed for full orchestra and comprises 4 movements:

I The Southdowns (Call to Arms) II Letters Home III The Boar’s Head Massacre IV Evening Hymn & Last Post (We shall remember them)

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