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With the advent of the winter season we see the siege lines settling down to form established positions on both sides. To the north of Chichester Government forces hold the heights at Lavington and Duncton Downs and are using the quarries of nearby Duncton Quarry to set up a camp based around a somewhat troglodyte existence in the hollowed out cliffs and within the ravine formed from the mine workings. Pickets are sent out daily to the higher ground on the ridges of the Downs and a sandbagged artillery position has been set up known simply as the “Sandbag Battery” commanding the approach from Coultershaw Bridge and Redlands.
Individual units are tasked with holding small pickets on the frontline and these units are replaced around the dawn stand to daily from the main camp.
Access to the main camp is controlled by a simple barricade known as the “Barrier” which is nothing more than a glorified delineation of the main gate to the quarries.
To the west of the quarries lays Lavington House (Now Seaford College) which has been taken over as the HQ for forces in the Northern Command area.
Before winter sets in the Coalition decide to make one last attempt to break these lines with a three column assault intended to break into the camp lines and push back the Government towards the outskirts of Chichester.
The view of the Government lines from the south - with the quarries and caves then the ravine and tentlines with the barrier to the east and on the ridgeway the Sandbag Battery.
Nunmber 2, Armoured Car Company, RAF holds the barrier.
One of the picket posts - some were being relieved, some had been relieved and tropps were heading back to camp and some were still waiting to be changed. (The individual state of each picket was randomly dice generated)
First sightings through the fog of one of the advancing militia columns.
The militia attacked in 3 main columns - out of the fog and heading on a predetermined path unless they had command figures to change direction - all columns strengths and commands were again random dice generations.
The central column has success pushing back the first line picket, it's replacement support tries to hold a line.
But is heavily outnumbered by the advancing column - luckily they cannot deploy as they lack the initiative to do so.
Some pickets had received their replacements and had more weight of fire to their line, others had troops sent up from the camp ordered to head towards the sound of the gunfire!
Under artillery fire from the Sandbag Battery the central column breaks and falls back past its next reinforcements.
Finally a command section hits the table but too late to really affect matters.
And the centre falls back but the left wing has taken ground steadily and threatens the barrier.
So end game with the militia making reasonable headway but heavy casualties on both sides - a rather bloody and scrappy engagement.
For those of you who read between the lines hopefully you will have recognised the sceanrio as a homage to Inkerman and the Quarries etc there - the militia fought in Russian style column formation and the Government played the British side with outlying pickets taking on massive numbers of enemy and getting piecemeal reinforcements as and when.
Sadly no one on the Government side took my advice to follow the command of that day - "Give them a volley and charge them with the bayonet!" but a tense game all round.
Finally another little homage - this time to Lady Butler's painting the Roll Call:
Thanks again to all the lads past and present who have supported the Sussex Aflame campaign - here's to the 50th! Enjoy - atb Tim
Sir J. GILMOUR I am aware that the man assaulted in this case appeared in court wearing the uniform worn by members of the British Union of Fascists.
Mr. THORNE May I ask the Home Secretary when he thinks the Government expect to come to a decision about this all-important question so as to prevent these fellows walking about in uniform and carrying india-rubber truncheons and things of that kind?
Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE Would it not be more amusing to make everybody wear coloured shirts according to their political views?
Hansard 15 March 1934
Last Edited By: tim rose Feb 20 13 2:18 PM. Edited 2 times