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Newhaven, Sussex: The Postcard That Took A Century To Arrive

A soldier’s emotional postcard reached home almost a century later

During World War One, the Channel port of Newhaven was the place briefly called home by British soldiers on their way to the Front.

Newhaven’s primary role was the transportation of supplies and munitions. Some 17,000 crossings of the Channel took place and more than six million tons of supplies were carried to the French coastal ports.

A relatively small number of soldiers were stationed at Newhaven including one Alfred Arthur who wrote this postcard back to his sister Nell before heading to France. The postcard only arrived at its intended destination ninety-four years later when his closest living relatives were tracked down by a historian.

Alfred Arthur died in 1918, aged 22, a little over a month before the war ended. Valley Camp, where he spent 14 weeks, was dismantled after the war. While some training trenches still survive, many of the huts were auctioned off to local farmers who used them as chicken houses.

Location: Newhaven Fort, Newhaven, Sussex BN9 9DS
Image shows front and reverse of the postcard, courtesy of Brian Buxton & Angela Finch
Presented by Trevor Nicholls

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