East Lavington

East Lavington was formerly known as Woolavington– as late as 1930 Kelly’s Directory of Sussex listed it under Woolavington. It was once part of a parish in several portions which also contained West Lavington. It now contains part of Beechwood Lane, Seaford College, Lavington Stud, and the hamlet of Norwood.

Prior to 1946, what is now Seaford College was the house and grounds of Lavington Park, purchased in 1903 by James Buchanan, later Lord Woolavington. James Buchanan had made his fortune by trading in blended whiskey – the Black and White whiskey brand. His wife, Annie, was a nurse and worked in London hospitals during the First World War. She died suddenly in October 1918 – it is suggested through exhaustion from nursing the wounded. His descendants, through his daughter Catherine, still run Lavington Stud which was then part of the Lavington Estate. Catherine married Captain Reginald MacDonald M.C., who changed his name by deed poll to MacDonald-Buchanan, in 1922, and she inherited the estate on her father’s death. Reginald MacDonald is among those listed from Graffham and Lavington as returning from the Great War. Many of those who are listed among the fallen on the war memorial were estate workers.

Lavington Park was sold to the Wallace family in 1936 – three members of which are listed on the war memorial for the Second World War – brothers David Euan Wallace (Kings Royal Rifle Corps), and Gerald Euan Wallace (Royal Air Force) and their half-brother Edward Peter Euan Wallace (Royal Air Force). Although not recorded on the war memorial, his brother John Wallace died serving in the Life Guards in 1946 and is buried with his brother Edward in Woolavington cemetery. Their father, Captain David Euan Wallace was briefly Minister of Transport during the early years of the Second World War. He died in February 1941 and in 1945 his widow, Barbara Wallace, married the American historian Herbert Agar. Lavington Park and House were sold to Seaford College in 1946 and the Agars moved to Beechwood House (formerly the dower house and later the rectory) which had been renovated by Barbara Agar’s father, the architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.


Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project