Battle of the Somme
The Battle of the Somme known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of World War I fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France; the battle was intended to hasten a victory for the Allies and was the largest battle of the First World War on the Western Front. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history; the Battle of the Somme was fought in the traditional style of World War I battles on the Western Front: trench warfare. The trench warfare gave the Germans an advantage because they dug their trenches deeper than the allied forces which gave them a better line of sight for warfare; the Battle of the Somme has the distinction of being the first battle fought with tanks. However, the tanks were still in the early stages of development, as a result, many broke down after maxing out at their top speed of 4 miles per hour.
The French and British had committed themselves to an offensive on the Somme during Allied discussions at Chantilly, Oise, in December 1915. The Allies agreed upon a strategy of combined offensives against the Central Powers in 1916, by the French, Russian and Italian armies, with the Somme offensive as the Franco-British contribution. Initial plans called for the French army to undertake the main part of the Somme offensive, supported on the northern flank by the Fourth Army of the British Expeditionary Force; when the Imperial German Army began the Battle of Verdun on the Meuse on 21 February 1916, French commanders diverted many of the divisions intended for the Somme and the "supporting" attack by the British became the principal effort. The first day on the Somme saw a serious defeat for the German Second Army, forced out of its first position by the French Sixth Army, from Foucaucourt-en-Santerre south of the Somme to Maricourt on the north bank, by the Fourth Army from Maricourt to the vicinity of the Albert–Bapaume road.
The first day on the Somme was, in terms of casualties the worst day in the history of the British army, which suffered 57,470 casualties. These occurred on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line; the British troops on the Somme comprised a mixture of the remains of the pre-war regular army. The battle is notable for the first use of the tank. At the end of the battle and French forces had penetrated 10 km into German-occupied territory, taking more ground than in any of their offensives since the Battle of the Marne in 1914; the Anglo-French armies failed to capture Péronne and halted 5 km from Bapaume, where the German armies maintained their positions over the winter. British attacks in the Ancre valley resumed in January 1917 and forced the Germans into local withdrawals to reserve lines in February, before the scheduled retirement to the Siegfriedstellung began in March. Debate continues over the necessity and effect of the battle.
Allied war strategy for 1916 was decided at the Chantilly Conference from 6–8 December 1915. Simultaneous offensives on the Eastern Front by the Russian army, on the Italian Front by the Italian army, on the Western Front by the Franco-British armies, were to be carried out to deny time for the Central Powers to move troops between fronts during lulls. In December 1915, General Sir Douglas Haig replaced Field Marshal Sir John French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF. Haig favoured a British offensive in Flanders close to BEF supply routes, to drive the Germans from the Belgian coast and end the U-boat threat from Belgian waters. Haig was not formally subordinate to Marshal Joseph Joffre but the British played a lesser role on the Western Front and complied with French strategy. In January 1916, Joffre had agreed to the BEF making its main effort in Flanders, but in February 1916 it was decided to mount a combined offensive where the French and British armies met, astride the Somme River in Picardy before the British offensive in Flanders.
A week the Germans began an offensive against the French at Verdun. The costly defence of Verdun forced the French army to commit divisions intended for the Somme offensive reducing the French contribution to 13 divisions in the Sixth Army, against 20 British divisions. By 31 May, the ambitious Franco-British plan for a decisive victory, had been reduced to a limited offensive to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun with a battle of attrition on the Somme; the Chief of the German General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, intended to end the war by splitting the Anglo-French Entente in 1916, before its material superiority became unbeatable. Falkenhayn planned to defeat the large amount of reserves which the Entente could move into the path of a breakthrough, by threatening a sensitive point close to the existing front line and provoking the French into counter-attacking German positions. Falkenhayn chose to attack towards Verdun to make Verdun untenable; the French would have to conduct a counter-offensive on ground dominated by the German army and ringed with masses of heavy artillery, leading to huge losses and bring the French army close to collapse.
The British would have to begin a hasty relief offensive and would suffer huge losses. Falkenhayn expected the relief offensive to fall south of Arra
Toytown was a BBC radio series for children, broadcast for Children's Hour on the Home Service. The plays were based on a set of puppets created by S. G. Hulme Beaman, who wrote the stories for the series; the first Toytown plays were broadcast in 1929, the pool of stories was re-used until the end of Children's Hour. There were 31 plays in all. During the 1970s, most of the plays were adapted as short films which were broadcast on ITV; the series starred Larry the Lamb, the central character, his clever sidekick, Dennis the Dachshund. In each story a misunderstanding arising from a device created by the inventor, Mr. Inventor, occurs which involves Ernest the Policeman, the disgruntled Mr Growser the Grocer and the Mayor. During the early-1950s series on BBC Children's Hour, Larry the Lamb was always played by Derek McCulloch, Dennis at various times by Norman Shelley, Ernest Jay and Preston Lockwood, the Mayor by Franklyn Bellamy and Felix Felton, Ernest the Policeman by Arthur Wynn, Peter Claughton and Stephen Jack and the Inventor by Ivan Samson.
The opening music was "The Parade of the Tin Soldiers" by Leon Jessel. The first radio performances were as follows: How Wireless Came to Toytown: 29 Nov 1929 The Sea Voyage: 27 Dec 1929 The Enchanted Ark: 2 Jan 1930 The Arkville Dragon: 30 Jan 1930 Larry the Plumber: 18 Feb 1930 Toy Town Treasure: 12 Mar 1930 The Great Toy Town Mystery! Who Was Guilty? 3 Apr 1930 The Extraordinary Affair of Ernest the Policeman: 1 May 1930 The Portrait of the Mayor: 6 June 1930 The Great Toy-Town War: 14 Oct 1930 The Disgraceful Affair at Mrs. Goose's: 14 Nov 1930 The Showing Up of Larry The Lamb: 9 Dec 1930 The Kidnapping of Father Christmas: 23 Dec 1930 The Babes in the Wood: 13 Jan 1931 The Start of the Treasure Hunt: 3 Feb 1931 In Which Mr. Growser's Worst Fears Are Realised: 19 Feb 1931 The Wreck of the Toytown Belle, part 1: 3 Mar 1931 The Wreck of the Toytown Belle, part 2: 19 Mar 1931 Toy Town Goes West: 31 Mar 1931 Mr. Noah's Holiday: 21 Apr 1931 Pistols for Two: 12 May 1931 Dreadful Doings at Ark Street: 9 June 1931 Disgraceful Doings in Ark Street: 1 Sept 1931 Frightfulness at the Theatre Royal: 22 Sept 1931 Golf: 13 Oct 1931 Tea for Two: 3 Nov 1931 Mr. Growser Moves: 1 Dec 1931 A Toytown Christmas Party: 22 Dec 1931 The Brave Deed of Ernest the Policeman: 2 Feb 1932 The Conversion of Mr. Growser: 23 Feb 1932 Dirty Work at the Dog & Whistle: 16 Aug 1932 A puppet show called Stories from Toytown Featuring Larry the Lamb was first broadcast on ITV between 1972 and 1974.
Twenty-six of Hulme Beaman's stories were adapted for television by his friend Hendrik Baker. Toytown Goes West The Tale of Captain Brass the Pirate The Extraordinary Affair of Ernest the Policeman The Disgraceful Business at Mrs Goose's Golf The Arkville Dragon The Tale of the Inventor The Tale of the Magician The Theatre Royal The Toytown Treasure Tea for Two Mr Noah's Holiday The Toytown Mystery A Portrait of the Mayor Pistols for Two How the Wireless Came to Toytown The Brave Deed of Ernest the Policeman The Tale of Ernest the Policeman The Showing Up of Larry the Lamb Larry the Plumber The Mayor's Sea Voyage Dreadful Doings in Ark Street The Great Toytown War Mr Growser Moves Mr Mayor Dirty Work at the Dog & Whistle The Noddy stories, written from 1949 to 1963 for children by author Enid Blyton, take place in a location called Toyland. Comprehensive article about Toytown at ukonline
The Green Howards known as the Yorkshire Regiment until the 1920s, was a line infantry regiment of the British Army, in the King's Division. Raised in 1688, it served under various titles until it was amalgamated with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire and the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, all Yorkshire-based regiments in the King's Division, to form the Yorkshire Regiment on 6 June 2006; the regiment was raised by Colonel Francis Luttrell in 1688 from independent companies of infantry in Devon. It embarked for Flanders in spring 1692 and saw action at the Battle of Steenkerque in August 1692, the Battle of Landen in July 1693 and the Siege of Namur in summer 1695 during the Nine Years' War; the regiment returned to England in March 1696. The regiment returned to Flanders in spring 1710 and took part in the siege of Douai in summer 1710 during the War of the Spanish Succession; the regiment returned to Flanders again in 1744 and saw action at the Battle of Fontenoy in May 1745, the Battle of Rocoux in October 1746 and the Battle of Lauffeld in July 1747 during the War of the Austrian Succession.
The regiment returned to England in winter 1748. The regiment was known by the names of its various colonels until 1751, when it became the 19th Regiment of Foot; the regiment took part in the capture of Belle Île in April 1761 during the Seven Years' War. In 1782, all regiments of foot without a special designation were given a county title "to cultivate a connection with the County which might at all times be useful towards recruiting" and so the regiment was redesignated the 19th Regiment; the regiment saw action at the Siege of Seringapatam in April 1799 during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. The regiment was known as the Green Howards from 1744. At that time, regiments were known by the name of their colonel; the 19th regiment's colonel was Hon. Sir Charles Howard. However, at the same time, the 3rd Regiment of Foot had been commanded by its colonel Thomas Howard, since 1737. To tell them apart, the colours of their uniform facings were used to distinguish them. In this way, one became'Howard's Buffs'.
Although the Green Howards were referred to unofficially as such from on, it was not until 1921 that the regiment was retitled as the Green Howards. Under the Childers Reforms, all non-royal English infantry regiments were to wear white facings from 1881. In 1899, the regiment was able to reverse this decision with the restoration of the grass green facings worn by the 19th Foot. In April 1801 the regiment was deployed to Ceylon for service in the Kandyan Wars; the regiment lost 6 officers and 172 other ranks in a massacre there in June 1803 and remained on the island to enforce British rule. The regiment did not return to England until May 1820; the regiment saw action at the Battle of Alma in September 1854 and at the Siege of Sevastopol in winter 1854 during the Crimean War and saw action again during the Indian Rebellion. In 1875, Princess Alexandra, Princess of Wales presented new colours to the 1st Battalion at Sheffield, consented to the regiment bearing her name, thus becoming the 19th Regiment of Foot.
The regiment adopted a cap badge consisting of the Princess's cypher "A" combined with the Dannebrog or Danish cross and topped by her coronet. The Princess became Queen Alexandra in 1901, was the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief from 1914 until her death in 1925; the regiment was not fundamentally affected by the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s, which gave it a depot at Richmond Barracks in North Yorkshire from 1873, or by the Childers reforms of 1881 – as it possessed two battalions, there was no need for it to amalgamate with another regiment. Under the reforms the regiment amalgamated with the militia battalions and rifle volunteers in its designated regimental district and became The Princess of Wales's Own on 1 July 1881; the 1st battalion was stationed at Nova Scotia from 1884, moved to the Mediterranean in 1888 where it was stationed at Malta but saw action in Egypt moved to Jersey in 1895 followed by Ireland in 1898. After a brief spell in Gibraltar in 1899, the battalion was posted to South Africa as reinforcement for the Second Boer War, where it was involved in the Relief of Kimberley and the battles of Diamond Hill and Belfast.
The battalion returned to the United Kingdom in September 1902. The 2nd battalion was in Ireland from 1881 to 1886, when it returned to garrison back home in England. From early 1890 the battalion was stationed in British India, where it took part in military campaigns on the North-West Frontier; the battalion had various postings, including at Sitapur and Benares until late 1902 when it was posted to Cawnpore. A 3rd Battalion, formed from the 5th West York Militia in 1881 was a reserve battalion, it was embodied in December 1899, 700 men embarked on the SS Assaye in February 1900 for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War. Many of the officers and men returned home in May 1902 on the SS Sicilia; the 4th Battalion, formed from the North York Rifles in 1881 was a reserve battalion. It was embodied for service on 5 May 1900, disembodied on 2 July 1901, re-embodied again for service during Second Boer War in South Africa. 555 officers and men returned to Southampton by the SS Tagus in October 1902, following the end of the war, was disbanded at the Richmond barracks.
In July 1902, the regiment was
Edward Stewart Mainwaring, known as Ed "Stewpot" Stewart, was an English broadcaster. He was principally known for his work as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 and as a presenter for Top of the Pops and Crackerjack on BBC Television. Stewart was born Edward Stewart Mainwaring, the son of a Treasury solicitor, in Exmouth, Devon, on 23 April 1941, he attended Eagle House School, Berkshire and St Edward's School and his broadcasting career began in Hong Kong. While touring there as bass player with a jazz group, he gained a job on a local radio station as a sports commentator as an announcer and as a disc jockey, he remained at this station for four years. In July 1965 Stewart became a DJ on the offshore radio station Radio London where he became a household name before the marine offences bill was passed, was its chief DJ by the time it closed on 14 August 1967. In 1967, Stewart became one of the first DJs to join Radio 1, presenting Happening Sunday and What's New. In 1968, Stewart took over the weekend morning Junior Choice show, where he remained for a dozen years.
The show was peppered with catch-phrase jingles such as "'Ello Darlin'", recorded by an unknown patient at a hospital in Billericay, "Happy Birthday to You" sung by an eight-year-old boy, from a football club in Crosskeys, on the team coach after the match. In 1968 he recorded the charity single "I Like My Toys", a cover of The Idle Race song, as "Stewpot And Save The Children Fund Choir". In 1972 he presented Radio 1's Sunday Sport show. One week in early 1972, he stood in for Alan Freeman on Pick of the Pops, as well as sitting in for the likes of David Hamilton and Terry Wogan through the 1970s. On 10 September 1973 Stewart became the first presenter of Radio 1's Newsbeat programme. Stewart became a regular presenter of the BBC television programme Top of the Pops in 1971, he presented the children's programme Crackerjack from 1973 to 1979, had a short-lived programme Ed and Zed in 1970. In 1980 Stewart moved to Radio 2, presenting Family Favourites and the weekday afternoon programme from 2 pm to 4 pm.
He was dropped from the line-up in October 1983. Stewart said he was "shocked and disappointed" by the decision of Radio 2 controller Bryant Marriott not to renew his contract. Stewart moved to the commercial radio station Radio Mercury, for six years, presenting their mid-morning show. Stewart rejoined Radio 2 in 1991, first presenting a series of shows and a regular Saturday afternoon show throughout the summer. In 1992, he once again presented weekday afternoons; this time, the show was broadcast from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, before moving to 3 pm to 5 pm in the spring of 1996 and 2 pm to 5 pm in the spring of 1998. In 1995, Stewart made radio history when he broadcast his Radio 2 show live from the summits of Ben Nevis and Snowdon, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust; the senior guide on the ascent, Wayne Naylor, said at the time that Ed Stewart had carried his own equipment and was accompanied by his wife. In the summer of 1999, Stewart was taken off the weekday afternoon slot, being replaced by Steve Wright, moving to his Sunday evening show from 5 pm to 7 pm.
At the time the official word was that Stewart had decided to go into semi-retirement, however he revealed in his autobiography that he was removed from the afternoon programme by controller Jim Moir. His Sunday show was a blend of music and chat, plus listeners' letters and Where Are They Now?, a feature that attempts to re-unite old friends who have lost touch with each other. Stewart left Radio 2 in April 2006, not long after his autobiography was published in which he questioned the position of his colleagues Sarah Kennedy and Johnnie Walker on the network. Walker replaced him on Sunday afternoons. Stewart was back for Radio 2's 40th birthday on Sunday 30 September 2007, he was heard on the Ken Bruce show and Pop Master on Radio 2 on Tuesday 2 October 2007. Stewart was heard on Radio 2 presenting Junior Choice on Christmas Eve in 2007. Stewart hosted further editions of Junior Choice on Christmas Day from 2008 to 2015, due to his death the following year. Stewart hosted the afternoon show on Radio Bristol for two days in the run up to Christmas 2001.
In February 2005, Stewart took over the weekday afternoon show on Spectrum FM, an English-speaking radio station that broadcasts to Spain. Stewart was heard on Big L 1395 covering for David Hamilton on 18 December 2006, in January 2007, he covered for Mike Read there in March 2007. He presented special shows on Classic Gold on Christmas Day 2006, New Year's Day 2007 and May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2007, he did a one-off Sunday morning show on KCFM in September 2008. He stood in for Shaun Tilley on his programme "I Haven't Heard It For Ages" on Sundays on KCFM 2008/9. From February 2009 to September 2009 Stewart presented on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9 am and noon on Internet radio station Wight FM. Stewart stood in for Shaun Tilley on the networked show The Retro Chart Years for a week in August 2009 and again in 2010, he appeared on another of Shaun Tilley's shows The Vintage Top 40 Show, which goes out on various BBC local stations on Sundays at 5 pm. In 2014, he took part in a Radio Legends week on BBC Surrey.
For many years Stewart was the figurehead for children's magazine Look-in, the "Junior TV Times". Starting in 1971 with a feature on a day in his life, he was brought in as a regular with a feature called "'Stewpot's Look-out", which became "'Stewpot's Newsdesk", they used his name in other features such as "Stewpot's Starchart". Newsdesk ended in 1980, as did
Public Schools Battalions
The Public Schools Battalions were Pals battalions of the British Army during the First World War. They were raised as part of Kitchener's Army made up of former public schoolboys; when the battalions were taken over by the British Army they became variously the 16th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and 18th Battalion, 19th Battalion, 20th Battalion and 21st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. The original battalion began recruiting on 1 September 1914 and membership was by application only; such was the spirit of adventure that many men wished to serve as private soldiers alongside their mates, rather than as officers. Amongst the recruits were enough former international players for the battalion to field two rugby union and one football team. Following the success of the original recruitment drive, four further battalions formed at Epsom from 11 September. However, Kitchener's Army was faced with a dire shortage of officers and so the exclusive nature of the Public Schools Battalions was doomed. "Young gentlemen" — public school and university graduates — were encouraged to apply for commissions and the battalion's ranks were depleted.
The numbers were made up with ordinary volunteers but the Public Schools Battalion titles would remain, some of the battalions would be disbanded during the course of the war. After its formation the battalion moved to Kempton Park Racecourse, in December to Woldingham. From July 1915 it was attached to 100th Brigade, in 33rd Division, based at Clipstone Camp, moving again in August to Perham Down. In April 1916, the 16th Battalion joined the 86th Brigade of the 29th Division, a Regular Army division that had served with distinction in the Gallipoli Campaign. With the 29th Division, the Public Schools Battalion first saw action in the Battle of the Somme. On the first day on the Somme, 1 July 1916, the battalion was in the supporting wave during the division's attack on Beaumont Hamel. Like the leading battalions, the Public Schools Battalion advanced into withering German machine gun fire. A few men got no further. Most were trapped in no man's land. After nightfall those that were pinned down near the German wire were rounded up and made prisoners of war.
The Public Schools Battalion suffered 522 casualties on 22 officers and 500 other ranks. The 16th Battalion was disbanded in February 1918
Plymouth is a port city situated on the south coast of Devon, England 37 miles south-west of Exeter and 190 miles west-south-west of London. Enclosing the city are the mouths of the river Plym and river Tamar, which are incorporated into Plymouth Sound to form a boundary with Cornwall. Plymouth's early history extends to the Bronze Age; this settlement continued as a trading post for the Roman Empire, until it was surpassed by the more prosperous village of Sutton founded in the ninth century, now called Plymouth. In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers departed Plymouth for the New World and established Plymouth Colony, the second English settlement in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War, the town was held by the Parliamentarians and was besieged between 1642 and 1646. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Plymouth grew as a commercial shipping port, handling imports and passengers from the Americas, exporting local minerals; the neighbouring town of Devonport became a strategic Royal Naval dockyard town.
In 1914 three neighbouring independent towns, viz. the county borough of Plymouth, the county borough of Devonport, the urban district of East Stonehouse were merged to form a single County Borough. The combined town took the name of Plymouth; the city's naval importance led to its being targeted by the German military and destroyed by bombing during World War II, an act known as the Plymouth Blitz. After the war the city centre was rebuilt and subsequent expansion led to the incorporation of Plympton and Plymstock along with other outlying suburbs in 1967; the city is home to 263,100 people, making it the 30th-most populous built-up area in the United Kingdom and the second-largest city in the South West, after Bristol. It is represented nationally by three MPs. Plymouth's economy remains influenced by shipbuilding and seafaring including ferry links to Brittany and Spain, but has tended toward a service-based economy since the 1990s, it has the largest operational naval base in Western Europe, HMNB Devonport, is home to the University of Plymouth.
Upper Palaeolithic deposits, including bones of Homo sapiens, have been found in local caves, artefacts dating from the Bronze Age to the Middle Iron Age have been found at Mount Batten, showing that it was one of few principle trading ports of pre Roman Britannia dominating continental trade with Armorica. An unidentified settlement named TAMARI OSTIA is listed in Ptolemy's Geographia and is presumed to be located in the area of the modern city. An ancient promontory fort was located at Rame Head at the mouth of Plymouth Sound with ancient hillforts located at Lyneham Warren to the east, Boringdon Camp and Maristow Camp to the north; the settlement of Plympton, further up the River Plym than the current Plymouth, was an early trading port. As the river silted up in the early 11th century and merchants were forced to settle downriver at the current day Barbican near the river mouth. At the time this village was called meaning south town in Old English; the name Plym Mouth, meaning "mouth of the River Plym" was first mentioned in a Pipe Roll of 1211.
The name Plymouth first replaced Sutton in a charter of King Henry VI in 1440. See Plympton for the derivation of the name Plym. During the Hundred Years' War a French attack burned a manor house and took some prisoners, but failed to get into the town. In 1403 the town was burned by Breton raiders. On 12 November 1439, the English Parliament made Plymouth the first town incorporated. In the late fifteenth century, Plymouth Castle, a "castle quadrate", was constructed close to the area now known as The Barbican; the castle served to protect Sutton Pool, where the fleet was based in Plymouth prior to the establishment of Plymouth Dockyard. In 1512 an Act of Parliament was passed for further fortifying Plymouth. A series of fortifications were built, including defensive walls at the entrance to Sutton Pool. Defences on St Nicholas Island date from this time, a string of six artillery blockhouses were built, including one on Fishers Nose at the south-eastern corner of the Hoe; this location was further strengthened by the building of a fort in 1596.
During the 16th century, locally produced wool was the major export commodity. Plymouth was the home port for successful maritime traders, among them Sir John Hawkins, who led England's first foray into the Atlantic slave trade, as well as Sir Francis Drake, Mayor of Plymouth in 1581 and 1593. According to legend, Drake insisted on completing his game of bowls on the Hoe before engaging the Spanish Armada in 1588. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World from Plymouth, establishing Plymouth Colony – the second English colony in what is now the United States of America. During the English Civil War Plymouth sided with the Parliamentarians and was besieged for four years by the Royalists; the last major attack by the Royalists was by Sir Richard Grenville leading thousands of soldiers towards Plymouth, but they were defeated by the Plymothians at Freedom Fields Park. The civil war ended as a Parliamentary win, but monarchy was restored by King Charles II in 1660, who imprisoned many of the Parliamentary heroes on Drake's Is
Haywards Heath is a town in the Mid Sussex District of West Sussex, within the historic county of Sussex, England. It lies 36 miles south of London, 14 miles north of Brighton, 13 miles south of Gatwick Airport and 31 miles east northeast of the county town of Chichester. Nearby towns include Burgess Hill to the southwest, Horsham to the northwest, Crawley north-northwest and East Grinstead north-northeast. Being a commuter town with only a small number of jobs available in the immediate vicinity in the agricultural or service sector, many of the residents commute daily via road or rail to London, Crawley or Gatwick for work; the name Hayward comes from Old English meaning an official who protected hedged enclosures from wandering livestock. There is a local legend that the name comes from a highwayman who went under the name of Jack Hayward. Haywards Heath is referenced in English Civil War records when early in December 1642 the High Sheriff of Sussex advanced with Royalist troops towards Lewes in East Sussex from Chichester in West Sussex.
He was defeated. Haywards Heath as a settlement is a modern development. Following the arrival of the London & Brighton Railway in 1841, its size has increased considerably. Haywards Heath railway station opened on 12 July 1841 and served as the southern terminus of the line until the completion of Brighton station on 21 September; the position of Haywards Heath, its place on both this railway and near the main road between London and Brighton, enables it to function as a commuter town, with many residents working in London, Brighton and Gatwick Airport. Other noted historical events in the town's history include: The opening of the Sussex County Lunatic Asylum in 1859; the superintendent here was, for many years, Dr Lockhart Robertson Lord Chancellor's Visitor, brother of the eminent ophthalmologist, Dr Argyll Robertson. The opening of Bannister's Cattle Market, the 12th largest in UK at one point, in 1859; this was closed to make way for a Sainsbury's supermarket in 1989. The opening of Victorian and Edwardian villas built as early commuter settlements in 1894 The opening of the Eliot Cottage Hospital King Edward VII Eliot Memorial Hospital, in 1906, named after benefactor, Alice Annie Eliot Schemes in the 1920s to help families on low incomes to become self-sufficient, resulting in the building of Franklands Village in the 1930s.
In the 1960s and 1970s, two light industrial estates were built. Office development has resulted in the town being a regional or national centre for a number of national companies and government agencies; the population has risen from 200 in the early 1850s to 22,800, making it one of the larger towns in West Sussex. The area of the civil parish is 974.99 hectares. The parish church, dedicated to St Wilfrid, the Roman Catholic church of St Paul are among the churches and chapels in Haywards Heath. Other places of worship include the Methodist church in Perrymount Road and two Baptist churches, St Richards, the Church of the Presentation and the Ascension Church; the Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel on Franklynn Road is Grade II listed. In 1978 it was converted to offices. Haywards Heath was in East Sussex, but a change to the county boundary in 1974 brought it under the jurisdiction of West Sussex. Housing in Haywards Heath has been expanded in the last ten years due to the creation of Bolnore Village, located to the south west of the existing town.
Planning permission was first granted in the late 1990s for 780 new homes on a greenfield site. The first house was completed in October 2002. Since phases 1, 2, 3,4a and 5 have been built by the house builders Crest Nicholson in conjunction with several other developers. Housing was followed by the construction of various commercial units—currently occupied by the Co-operative Supermarket and the country's first self-governing parent-promoted primary school in September 2010; the decision to grant planning permission for Bolnore Village was somewhat controversial, since the Ashenground and Catts Woods on that site formed a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. As a condition for planning permission, the developers are required to build a relief road for the town referred to as Haywards Heath by-pass, which has re-routed the A272 to the south side of the town. Construction work on the relief road commenced in 2012, with it being completed in August 2014, the previous A272 route through Haywards Heath has been renamed to the B2272.
In 2008, local residents won a bid to run their own primary school for the village. The new school opened in September 2008; as Bolnore village's construction has nearly finished the majority of new housing for Haywards Heath has been on the southern side of the A272, the site is referred to as Sandrocks after the house, there. This area has 6 main development areas, of which 2 have been completed as of Summer 2018. New housing developments have appeared on the northern side of the town. Both of them allow approx 400 new dwellings to be built; the first one is on the northern end of Penland Road and south of Hanlye Lane and started development in 2017. The other one is between Lindfield and Walstead, this started in 2015 and is due to be completed by the end of 2019. There are plans that the land around Hurstwood Farm will be built on. Haywards Heath; some of the train services divide at Haywards Heath before continuing their journey to the south, or join other services