Tales of threats to Rye – and why we’re still here (May 14th talk)

Tales of threats to Rye – and why we’re still here (May 14th talk)

Somehow Rye escaped every time!

On Tuesday evening, May 14th,  at the East Street Museum, our Chairman, historian Jo Kirkham  bundled solid research, graphic description of invasions foiled and failed, and apt and amusing quotes from the times into what one listener accurately  described as a tour de forcc,  bringing alive 2000 years of perpetual threat to our coast — and the various reasons for escape.

Highlighting six of the many attempts to overrun our shores, she zeroed in on the intentions and the reasons for their failure. We learned of the roles of would-be invaders, of shore defenders, of battles, and of the weather!  Julius Caesar, the Belgics (55 BC); ‘bad’ King John, William Marshal; The Spanish Armada (1588): Philip II, Sir Francis Drake, the Dukes of Parma and Medina Sidonia; Louis XV’s planned invasion of 1744; Napoleon Bonaparte, Sea Defencibles and Rye Volunteers, William Pitt, Martello Towers and the Royal Military Canal,  (turn of the 19th century) ; Hitler’s Operation Sea Lion plan on our very coast (1940)– What do these mean to you?  (The full list of names and events would be long indeed.)

Many of us are hoping to persuade Jo to provide a written version of this rich local history. In the meantime, go to the Invasion Coast section of our website where there are articles on some of the major threat episodes.

A big Thank You to Jo for a truly educative evening.

First posted in Invasion Coast, News, Past Talks on 15th May 2013
Last updated: 5th July 2013