Beach display shows Hayling Island’s World War One role

The unveiling of a First World War information board on Hayling seafront ' from left, Sue Humphrey, Derek Dunn, Mike Burnham, mayor's consort Andy Cousins and Mayor of Havant Leah Turner'' Picture: Paul Jacobs (150943-7)
The unveiling of a First World War information board on Hayling seafront ' from left, Sue Humphrey, Derek Dunn, Mike Burnham, mayor's consort Andy Cousins and Mayor of Havant Leah Turner'' Picture: Paul Jacobs (150943-7)
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AN illustrated beach display board about Hayling Island during the First World War has been unveiled.

The information was discovered by members of the Hayling Island University of the Third Age while they were producing a book to commemorate the centenary of the start of the conflict last year.

The board, just to the west of the Funland Amusement Park, records the existence of a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) hospital and the School of Musketry on Hayling seafront during the First World War.

The ceremony to unveil the permanent record was carried out by the 
Mayor of Havant, Cllr Leah Turner, at Beachlands.

Sue Humphrey, Derek Dunn, Mike Burnham and the consort to the mayor of Havant Andy Cousins were also at the unveiling.

After war had been declared in 1914, two houses in The Crescent were lent to the Army for use as a VAD convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers.

In addition, the neighbouring School of Musketry, based at the Royal Hotel, brought many servicemen to the island who were billeted with local residents.

Last November Hayling Island U3A produced a book entitled Hayling Island Life & Times 1914 -1919.

And through that research, it emerged that there had been a VAD hospital at The Crescent on the seafront.

The work was possible thanks to National Lottery Heritage funding.

A War Office scheme in 1909, for the Organisation of Voluntary Aid in England and Wales, aiming to fill gaps in the territorial medical services, resulted in 
a good response to join by Hayling residents.

First aid training was provided by the Red Cross.

For more information about Hayling’s history visit hayling1914-19.org.uk/

If you wish to join Hayling Island U3A contact the membership secretary Bryan Bowen on 07909 570331.

Alternatively you can visit haylingu3a.org.uk/