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1998: Olive Caplin recalls the P.O. Rifles in Cuckfield

In 1998 ninety year old Downlands Care Home resident Olive Beatrice Caplan gave a short interview for Cuckfield Museum and recalled her first visits to Cuckfield in 1915/1916.

Olive was just six years old when she and her mother visited the village. Her father was with the P. O. Rifles and he and another sergeant were billeted at Myrtle Cottages for 2 to 3 months prior to going to France. Olive and her mother would often watch the soldiers at Whitemans Green, the north side, where houses have since been built, and also at Borde Hill. It was here she remembered refusing to walk because the gardens were carpeted with primroses.

Post Office Rifles billeted at Whiteman's Green c1915

Marching to Lewes and back was a regular occurrence.

In Ipswich the soldiers were given bomb throwing training, Olive remembers being shown a Mills bomb.

The Captain's name was Porter and he wrote to Olive’s mother when her father was wounded in 1917. In more recent years the P.O. rifles had reunions at Whitemans green and later at Stroud.

The Caplins lived at The Old House Whitemans Green for many years.

Unfortunately Oliver passed on all the photographs to a relative.



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