During the First World War, there was a massive drop in birth rates across the whole of England – and Brighton was lagging right from the start.

The Argus reported that Brighton was well below the rest of the country in 1914 when it came to popping out a new generation of soldiers.

Brighton saw 17.9 births per 1,000 of the population in the first year of the First World War set against a national figure of 24.1.

Despite that, the rate of babies was higher than today, where the birth rate is closer to 13 per 1,000 of the population across the whole country.

But Brightonians were positively frisky compared with the rest of their Sussex neighbours, with birth rates of 15.3 in Eastbourne, 12.5 in Hastings and 16.7 across the county as a whole.

Sussex also ranked low in marriages with only 13.2 per 1,000 of the population tying the knot.

Having the majority of the county’s illegible bachelors putting their lives on the line in Europe was certainly a factor in that.

One of those fine young men who would not be coming back was Captain Boyce Anthony Combe, a 25-year-old captain from Sedlescombe, who was killed in action only ten days after he left for the front.

His father, Harvey Combe, contacted The Argus after receiving the heartbreaking news from the War Office.