Lowther’s Lambs

Ron Caister sent in this photograph and details of men from Rye Harbour who were part of Lowther’s Lambs

A section of young men including Bert Caister, Alf Igglesden and Bill (Chippy) Milgate and others from the area prior to setting off to France in 1914. They were part of a group in the Sussex Regiment known as ‘Lowther’s Lambs’.

Bert Caister, first on the left in the second row from the bottom, lost a leg and a finger at Ypres in Belgium.

Photo from the Ron Caister Collection

And from David Lester who is collecting information about Lowther’s Lambs

In the period September 1914 – January 1915, about 150 men from Rye and the surrounding areas, joined the Southdown Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment. They were also known as “Lowthers Lambs”, after Lt. Colonel Claude Lowther, the then owner of Herstmonceux Castle, who raised them. They later became the 11th, 12th,13th and 14th battalions of the Royal Sussex and, were all given a distinctive SD, South Downs, prefix to their regimental number, for example Fred Bryant,s number was SD.2082. They initially trained at Cooden Camp, near Bexhill and went to France in March 1916.

I have been trying to collect information about all of these men fo r seve r a l years, but unfo r t una t e ly, due to German bombing in the 2nd, World War, most of their Army records we r e d e – stroyed, which has made my task very difficult. I am int e r e s t ed in every scrap of informat ion, but in particula r p ho t o – graphs, letters and their history when they returned from the war.

At a later date I will be publishing a book / CD, and in the future all of the information that I have collected will be donated to the Royal Sussex Regiments archive at Chichester as a lasting memorial to those wonderful young men who went off to war.

Any information or pictures for David Lester’s researches can be sent in to “Rye’s Own” at 56 Cinque Ports Street.

Rye’s Own  April 2003

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