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(Custers Last Stand!)
In the Domesday book of 1086 it was called Dalinton,
and in 1265 the current Dallington.
This picturesque village lies 5 miles south east
of Heathfield off the B2096. There are several
attractive brick and tile hung cottages, and next
to the church is a fine timber-framed house.
Dallington forest used to manufacture charcoal, an
important source of fuel for the Wealden Iron making
industry. Much of their supply went to the Heathfield
furnace owned by the Fullers of Brightling , and also
to the Ashburnham furnace a few miles to the South East.
In a field north of the B2096 lies the 'Sugar Loaf', one
of the Follies of Mad Jack Fuller .(also see Brightling )
The original church of St Giles, was dismantled in 1864,
and rebuilt with only the crenellated tower, and the spire
surviving. The spire is a rarity in Sussex, as it is
tiled in stone. On the west face of the tower are the
carved shield and buckle symbol of the Pelham family.
Sir John Pelham fought in the Battle of Poiters in 1356.
The aircraft of Flying Officer Peter Guerin Crofts
crashed at Earl's down at precisely 1.55pm on September
28th 1940. The young pilot baled out and landed at
nearby South View farm, but died from his wounds. His
mother had a memorial cross erected on the spot where
he fell. The cross is tended by the Heathfield branch
of the R.A.F.A.
The late Captain 'Mac' camouflage expert, war hero and
Fleet Street cartoonist lived in Dallington for 45 years.
His real name was George Douglas Machin, and was know
locally as a charming but eccentric character. He served
as a balloon observer in the First World War, and was awarded
the Distinguished Flying Cross. He gained fame as a
cartoonist for his work on the soldiers newspaper,
'Blighty'. His output was prolific and his signature,
'Mac' appeared on drawings in scores of publications.
Hemings Place was the manor house of the village, until
it burned down in 1803.
It is strongly believed by the villagers, that a man from
the village fought with General George Custer at the
Battle of the Little Big Horn, in 1876. This belief is
not totally far fetched, as many former British Cavalrymen
joined the ranks of U.S. cavalry during the Indian Wars.
Unfortunately, there is no-one who can put a name to
the East Sussex recruit who died at the hands of the
Sioux, in Custers Last Stand at Greasy Grass!
(However see below for further contributed information)
(The following information about General Custer was contributed by
Michael Cheevers - Ontario Canada) There were mainly Irish and German born
troopers but there were some English
born troopers at the Little Bighorn Battle. Trooper John Hiley born in Rugby
England May 28, 1849 real name was Jon Stuart Forbes he was of noble birth and
is listed in Fosters Peerage and Baronetgage 1883 Left home due to gambling
difficulties. The Second Trooper William James Sgt born in Pembrokeshire
Wales 1849 was a coachman in England. Trooper Herod Liddiard Private born
Longdon England 1851 formerly a boatman killed at the hilltop siege with
(The following information has been provided by Alf Rogers - Australia) First, you have an account of the day in the Battle of Britain when F/O
Croft's aircraft (a Hurricane, by the way) was shot down and crashed at
Earl's Down. My father and I were out walking that Saturday afternoon and
were no more than a quarter of a mile from the crash site. As far as the
crash was concerned it was pretty unusual for the Hurricane came down in a
near vertical dive but just before striking the ground the wings sheared off
and landed comparatively flat and gently while the fuselage buried itself in
the ground. Meanwhile in the continuing Battle overhead the descending
parachute was clearly visible against the intense blue of the sky (typical
of that summer) - and so was the Messerschmitt 109 that circled it and fired
at the pilot below on at least two occasions. Such events were often
reported but this was the only occasion I saw such an action. Second, you refer to 'Mac' the cartoonist. Additionally to plying his trade
with the local papers he was always a popular figure at the various local
flower shows and agricultural shows. One never had to look very hard to find
him for there would be a queue of enthusiastic locals hoping to be recorded
for posterity in one of his very swift sketches.
(The following information about General Custer was contributed by
JAMIE NOBLIT) The soldier killed at Custer's last stand from Dallington , was private
Timothy Donnelly. He enlisted at Ft Lawton, Boston, Mass. On sept 21st
1875. His enlistment gives age as 21 and 5/12, however I believe he was
less than 21 years old. I have been searching my ancestry and the only
Tim Donnelly on the ships registry arrived from England 8/30/1869 on a
ship name Torpoli or Tripoli and he was 11yrs old.
(The following information was contributed by Patricia Glennon - United States)
At the Battle of Little Big Horn there were mainly Irish and German born troopers
but there were some English. Timothy Donnelly's family settled in Worcester County,
Massachusetts in a town called Spencer , Ma. They owned a farm,which must have
been fairly large , as the road the farm stood on is named 'Donnelly Road '.
The original barn still stands, but the farm house was torn down about 5 years
ago. It had been empty for sometime, but I believe until fairly recently, the
land had been owned by a relative.
The family headstone, which is in the Catholic Cemetery in town.
Timothy's date of birth, place of birth and date of death are all on the stone.
His remains are buried at the Little Big Horn. He was quite young when he died-
probably closer to 19. He was one of the older of many children. His father was
a 'teamster'- he drove a team of horses on what would have been fairly long hauls
in the late 1800's. I believe his route went from Spencer, into Worcester and
possibly towards Boston. Worcester is about 12 miles from where their farm stood.
My father, Leo Glennon, was in 1935, a young teacher in Worcester. He was mentored
and became very close friends with Mary 'Molly' Donnelly, who was Timothy's
younger sister.I remember her very clearly- she was a kind, lovely, cultured lady
who often came to visit and have dinner with my parents. I became aware of Timothy,
because I would drive my father to the cemetery. He always planted flowers on
Molly's (and Timothy's ) grave, from the time of her death ( around 1962) , until
he passed away in 2007. I now have been doing this for him. Each year, when I
visit the grave, someone has placed a very large feather,inside of a rifle casing,
up against the headstone. My guess is, that it's of some significance to what
happened at the Little Big Horn. I may leave a note there this year, to see if I
get a response. There are probably still family members in the area, but several
generations removed from Molly and her sister Florence, whom we were also close
to. If I find out any more, I'll gladly pass it along.
| Dallington as a small village has few local services,
with the exception of the St Giles C.E. church. At
Woods Corner there is a public house. The nearest
small towns are Battle about 7 miles to the
South East, and Heathfield about 7 miles to the North
An infrequent bus service from Battle to Heathfield
passes through the village.
The nearest trains can be caught at Etchingham
about 6 miles, and Robertsbridge about 5 miles.
The nearest large town shopping centres
are in Hastings about 11 miles South East, and
Tunbridge Wells 18 miles to the North.