The War Memorial was first erected in 1919 as a memorial for Steyning people killed in the Great War and the names of victims of the Second World War were added in 1948 either side of the WWI names.  These side panels were designed by local architect John Leopold Denman, whose son John Bluet Denman had himself spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war. They were carved by Joseph Cribb of Ditchling in East Sussex.

Research by Steyning Museum volunteers have produced a complete file of the life histories  of all the men listed on the War Memorial and of their deaths.

This page mentions just a handful of the 82 men (WW1- 48, WW2 – 34) commemorated on the Memorial but there is a copy of the complete file next to the War Memorial and another can be consulted in Steyning Museum.

First World War 1914-18

Among the men commemorated who died in the First World War are:

William Bennett of White Horse Square who went to Hove to enlist in the Royal Sussex Regiment with two Steyning friends, Frederick and Edward Bristow. All three were killed on 30 June 1916, when the Regiment suffered terrible losses at the Battle of Boars’ Head. The Joyce family with whom William lived also lost their two sons, George Feast and Albert Joyce, in the War.

 Arthur, Stanley and William Emery, three of the eight members of the Emery family who fought in the War, were all killed.

Reginald Alder Mitchell’s parents ran the Norfolk Arms in Church Street and he was wounded on the Western Front and died of his wounds in May 1916. His nephew Archibald was killed in the Second World War.

To hear more about these men of the First World War and their families please click the following links.

Reginald Alder Mitchell

Second World War 1939-1945

Among the WWII names on the Memorial are Mark Pierce whose parents lived in Thorncroft, Steyning and his Shoreham cousin Ralph Barnes. Both joined the Royal Engineers and Mark was killed clearing mines from the beach in Bexhill; Ralph died in the Battle of the Bulge.

Two members of the previous generation of the family, Albert and John Pierce appear in the WWI list so the family lost four members in the two Wars.

Archibald Mitchell who was the nephew of Reginald who appears in the WW1 List also died in WW2 – he was in the Navy.

Austin Stevens joined the RAF – he was 41, much older than most of the men commemorated when he died in the Western Desert

To hear more about these men of the Second World War and their families please click the following links.


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