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1928: War preparations in Cuckfield for 40,000 participants

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

Aberdeen Press and Journal - Saturday 01 September 1928

40,000 AT WAR. British Army Ready for Mimic Battle. (From a Special Correspondent.) CUCKFIELD, Friday.

The inhabitants of Cuckfield, a rambling old Sussex village, turned out to-day to see the first contingent of soldiers to invade the area finish their seventeen miles march into the staging camp. The troops consisted of the 1st King's Own Scottish Borderers, 1st Sussex Regiment, 1st Yorks and Lanes, and 2nd Gordon Highlanders. few miles away the 2nd Infantry Brigade troops, consisting the East Yorks. the King's Shropshire Light Infantry, the Seaforth Highlanders, and the Royal Ulster Rifles, reached their manoeuvre camp at Middleton Park. With the arrival to-morrow the 1st Guards Brigade, which will stationed at Cuckfield, the combatant troops will be completed.

Soldiers march down the High Street in preparation for 'battle' in 1928

Coming Big Battle.

On Monday divisional training will be begun, and in a few days' time nearly 40,000 soldiers will be engaged in a big battle. Over forty twelve-ton tanks will play a prominent part in the warfare, and in addition there will be the 1st Cavalry Brigade and representatives of every other branch of the land forces, while a strong detachment of aeroplanes will also co-operate*

Stiff Night Engagement.

Along the banks of the River Rother there has been an all-night battle. The forces engaged represented Northland and Southland. The former were much the stronger, and the previous afternoon had forced them to retire to the far side of the Arun.

Exploiting their advantage, they pressed the defenders across country to a position on the opposite bank of the Rother. Considerably weakened in numbers and somewhat exhausted by continuous fighting, the Southland troops had hoped to secure a few hours' respite before having to face further onslaught. The commander of the Northland force, however, wisely pressed home the advantage, and succeeded in crossing the river.

Realism was lent the proceedings by the glare of Verey lights, machine-gun fire, and the boom of eighteen-pounders.


The first army manoeuvres on a large scale at Catterick Camp, Yorkshire, since its establishment as a military centre began yesterday, where the 13th Infantry Brigade opened a mock war. which will last for a week. “Northlands” and “Southlands” troops came into opposition on the moorlands surrounding the camp, tho Northlands force, assisted by cavalry, making a determined effort to raid and cut the lines of supplies and communication of their opponents. Strong artillery action, backed by efficient tank work, frustrated all their efforts.



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