Illustrated talk: How Haywards Heath residents contributed to the war effort

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It took Haywards Heath residents just three days to raise £24,000 in 1914 after taking action following the declaration of war.

Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian, will be revealing more during his talk on the Great War West Sussex 1914-18: The Home Front, Civilians at War at Haywards Heath Library on February 4.

Martin said: “People in Haywards Heath made an amazing contribution to the war efforts 100 years ago.

“Within three days of war being declared residents had raised nearly £24,000 for the war effort and every month from February 1915 people sent three tons of fruit and vegetables to the Royal Navy. Many men volunteered for the armed forces. Some 40 players from Haywards Heath Rangers FC joined up. Sadly, nine had lost their lives by 1917.”

“Women contributed massively to the war effort and many took paid work for the first time in their lives. For example, in 1916 a wife learnt how to cut hair and became the barber at her husband’s shop while he was on active service.

“The town’s post office employed women postal workers for the first time. There was resistance from some men however and one local farmer told the Mid-Sussex Times that women ‘would bring plague more than profit’!

“There are many other stories like these which I look forward to sharing.”

Tickets cost £3 and are available from Haywards Heath Library. Call 01444 255444.