Seaford WW1 Life Recreated

A photograph taken in Seaford nearly 100 years ago has been recreated by local people as part of an unusual project sponsored by the Department of Communities, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Local Government.

Kevin Gordon of Seaford Museum co-ordinated the project in which a group of local people and children dressed up to recreate the photo, originally taken in about 1918. The photograph shows a barrow selling a variety of fish from a stall in Place Lane to a group of local shoppers. There are a variety of flags and posters referring to the War and German Fleet.

The staff of Paul’s Plaice in Dane Road, Seaford assisted with the photograph as did volunteers from Seaford Museum who made the props.

The photo was selected because the background, Seaford Church, had not changed. The volunteers dressed up and turned up on a cold windy morning to recreate the picture. Members of the Seaford Photographic Club took the ‘new’ photos and we were assisted by Seaford Musical Theatre and Seaford Martello Rotary Club.

Seaford hosted two massive military camps during the First World War and men from all over the Empire including Canada and the Caribbean were based in the town as were many Conscientious Objectors. Many of these men died in Seaford particularly during the Flu Pandemic of 1918-19. There are nearly 300 Commonwealth War Graves in Seaford Cemetery.

Kevin said “The people of Seaford would have been war-weary when this photograph was taken and would have been used to the regular military funerals parading through the town. However, it is clear that their spirit had not broken and they still had a sense of humour”.

As well as recreating the original photograph a contemporary photo was taken with a van replacing the fish-barrow and everyone dressed in modern clothes.

Kevin Gordon

Photo from 1918

The Recreation

Photo from 2016