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Book launched to commemorate Eastbourne schoolboys

A book commemorating 51 Eastbourne schoolboys who lost their lives in the First World War was launched on Monday (November 5).

The boys’ names all appear on the Ascham Arch in Carlisle Road, Meads, on the site where their school, Ascham St Vincent’s, stood. The book is entitled The Boys on the Arch and was written by local resident Liz Moloney. She researched the lives of the boys by looking at old school records, war records, newspapers and letters.

The book was published by the Eastbourne Local History Society and the printing and launch were part-funded by local councillors Robert Smart, Barry Taylor and Kathy Ballard through the devolved budget.

Councillor Smart said: “We were pleased to be able to help with this very informative book. It’s important that the contribution of the men who fought in the war are never forgotten and this is a wonderful way of keeping their memory alive.”

Liz Moloney said: “If we hadn’t had the money from the councillors the society might not have been able to publish the book, so we’re very grateful. It grew from a booklet into a much more substantial book about each man whose name appears on the Arch and explores many areas, including the war, the schools and the impact their deaths had on their families.”

A ceremony is being held at the Arch for Remembrance Day this Sunday (November 11) with people arriving from 10.15am, with two minutes’ silence at 11am. The Meads Community Association, Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens and Ascham Residents’ Association will be laying wreaths, accompanied by a bagpiper.

The book is available at Eastbourne Heritage Centre and the Tourist Information Centre or email moloneybooks@outlook.com for more information.

Published 9 November 2018