Munitions factory in Sedlescombe
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Updated March 2012

Strange coincidences often lead to new information about the past. A couple of new deposits in Sedlescombe Archives from different people turned out to be connected and they give us a little insight into a Munitions factory operating in The Street, Sedlescombe in the Second World War.

1. During demolition work of RN French prior to the building of 1 and 2 Tilly House in 2010, an interesting note giving a brief history of the building from 1921 to 1943 was found under the floorboards by Danny Mayell.

RN French siteTilly House





Ex-Service Men's Club

This building was erected in the year 1921 as an Ex Service Men's Club following World War No.1 1914/18.

It was carried on as a Men's Club until 19(crossed out) Sept 1942 and was then purchased by the Sedlescombe Engineering Coy Ltd as a Fitting and Assembly Shop in which were assembled parts comprising

Albert James Jenner
Late Surveyor, Battle Rural District Council (retired 1942)
Manager Assembly Shop Nov.27th 1943

From the Sedlescombe Parish Council Burial Register, we can see that Mr Jenner was living in Sedlescombe, in Linton House, The Street, not far from the place he was working in during the War, when he died in 1950.

Beryl Lucey's book "Twenty Centuries in Sedlescombe" also mentions Mr Jenner and Linton House. Mr Jenner was Inspector of Nuisances and Rural District Surveyor when he spent £575 on Linton House in 1919 when he bought it from the original owner Edmund Linton Allchin. Jenner's son Reginald Marcus Lionel Jenner was only 17 in 1937 when he died. Beryl records him having had a motor-cycle accident.


2. The second set of items was found in an old handbag which had belonged to Hope Gosse's mother. They were a few of J H Gosse's pay slips when he worked in this Munitions Fitting and Assembly Shop in 1944. Mr Gosse lived at Whydown Poultry Farm in Crazy Lane and he could be seen riding his bicycle to work with a beret on his head. He was also in the Royal Observer Corps during the War and did his duties at the Royal Observer Corps Post up the field behind Four Winds, Balcombe Green.

Payslips J H Gosse

Why these few pay slips between June and September 1944 had been kept for many years is not known. When Hope gave them to the Parish Clerk she said that her Father had worked at the building that subsequently became French's workshop during the war and added "I don't know who owned it or what it was before the war". Luckily, we know the answer to that question because Mr Jenner thought to drop his brief history under the floorboards.

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