STORIES SEEN THROUGH A GLASS PLATE

H10356 — Lieut. Jenner, 1917

Box 68

MAP   LIST

Image 2: H07177 — Jenner — Group outside, Mrs. With dog (Showing group of billeted men with the Jenner family outside their house in Prince Edward’s Road — note chalked number 4 on the wall beside the door)

 

‘Sussex Express 17 September 1914 — An Early Awakening’ — Richard Attlee, Actor.

Audio transcript at bottom of page

 

Herbert Theodor Jenner was the son of JHA Jenner who was a pillar of Lewes society and partner in G. Newington and Co., Lime Burners and Coal Merchants. In 1901 the family lived at 209 High Street, by 1911 they had moved to 8 Eastgate Street. HT Jenner worked as a clerk at Newington’s until the war. He was awarded the British War and the Victory medals.

 

“An Early Awakening

 

Now for the scenes and incidents leading up to the arrival of the Forces, Lewes was first acquainted of the approaching invasion on Saturday, when householders were canvassed with a view to ascertaining how many men they could accommodate. The work was carried out by the police, under the direction of Major Lang (Chief Constable for East Sussex), and the numbers were chalked on the doors or walls of the houses. Some people were reluctant to offer accommodation, but the exigencies of war invariably inconvenience people, and they must put up with it. One is wise to submit quietly to the requirements, otherwise they might get more than their fair share. We hear of one good lady who “could not possibly” billet any “Tommies,” but when it was suggested that she might accommodate two officers she climbed down, and thought she might manage this. Sequel: she is now housing four privates! People who made it convenient to be out did not escape the chalk. Preparations were very well in hand for the reception on Saturday night, but a Crier announced to the populace that the troops would not arrive till the morrow, and so the inhabitants were allowed to sleep in peace. On Sunday morning the Mayor received a further intimation that the Forces would not be in the town till Monday, and this notice was given out at various places of worship and by the Crier. At last the men did arrive, after a long and tiring railway journey. The first batch reached here in the early hours of Monday morning, and the inhabitants were aroused from their slumbers by the singing and tramp of the troops. Marching through the streets, the men were told off according to the number allotted to each house, and in this way the work expeditiously carried out. But what an experience for the inhabitants! It was pitch dark, the first batch arriving about half-past one, and a heavy downpour of rain did not improve matters. However, the men were in excellent spirits, and they received a homely welcome. Most of them were wearing civilian dress, and all they possessed were the clothes they stood up in. As the dawn of day approached the Southdown Foxhounds passed through the town on their way to a cub hunt, and the yelps of the dogs added animation to the street scene. The military continue to arrive in batches throughout the day, the final contingent coming about ten p.m. During the evening the streets were thronged, and one of the busiest places in the town was the High Street Post Office, the troops being anxious to acquaint their parents by post, card or letter of their safe arrival in the ancient borough.”