The Iron Fort

Hastings, Sussex

This page is still under construction!

Some of the early soldiers of the Hastings I Corps, including Ernest Alfred Dengate 

(hover over to see him more closely)

The original Iron Fort - Hastings Salvation Army

In December 1870 and old church in St Andrew's Square, known as the 'Iron Fort' was established as the meeting place of the Hastings Salvation Army. Family legend has it that Ernest Alfred Dengate and his wife, Agnes Lucy were the first soldiers on the roll at the newly established church. This is unlikely, however, as Ernest did not arrive in Hastings from Peasmarsh until 1875, marrying Agnes in 1881. He certainly was an early recruit, as the above photograph attests. Ernest is seen in other photos, notably those of two of his daughters' weddings in 1914 and 1922 wearing Salvation Army uniform.

The Dengate family connection to this church has continued to this day. Below are a selection of photographs of the early days of the Iron Fort, some with members of the family in, some without.

Company Guards at the Iron Fort

Elsie Dengate (back left)


Cecil Dengate (4th from left back row)

The Hastings I Corps band

Elsie Dorothy Dengate

Ada Dengate

Mabel Dengate's marriage to Harry Chandler, October 1914. Mabel's parents (seated beside her) are also in uniform

Hastings 1 band, Christmas 1920

Cecil Dengate (back row, 2nd from right)

Leslie Dengate (middle row, 4th from right)

Harry Chandler (middle row 7th from right)

Hastings Y.P. Band

Harry Chandler (standing back right)

Jack Glazier (standing back 2nd right)

In the late 1920s, the old Iron Fort was demolished and a new brick-built Citadel was built, consisting of two large buildings: the YP hall (Young People) and the main hall, connected at the rear by a corridor containing several rooms, offices and a kitchen. For any years a plaque adorned the door to the Officer's Room, which read that the room had been built with donations from Ernest Alfred and Agnes Dengate. Unfortunately, the plaque has long-since disappeared.

The new buildings were officially opened in May 1930, drawing a huge crowd of onlookers.

The Census Board with Commanding Officers at opening of new halls

Left standing: Cecil Dengate, Sam Sully, Leslie Dengate, Sid Stapley, Jack Glazier

Opening of the new halls. Colonel McDougall & Mayor Swinson

June 1933

Jack Glazier and Gladys Dengate (left) Mrs Evenden (right)

YP Band, c.1937

Jack Glazier, bandmaster (seated, centre front)

Clifford Glazier (seated with trombone 2nd right)

Norman Dengate (standing back third right)

Hastings Citadel Songster, 1937

Florence Dengate (standing front left)

Cecil Dengate (back row directly under the letter A of Army)

Hastings Citadel Band c.1940

Gordon Dengate (seated second row with glasses)

Maisie Dengate (seated front row 2nd left)

Eileen Chandler (seated middle row far right)

Gordon Dengate (back row 2nd right)

Dengates in the local newspaper

Leslie Dengate (far right standing)

Maisie Dengate (seated front row centre)

Eveline Dengate (seated front row 3rd left)

The marriage of Gordon Leslie Dengate and Sheila Kathleen Hills at the Citadel

The marriage of Leslie Dengate and Dorothy Sainsbury (nee Gutsell) a the Citadel

This page is still under construction, however if you are able to identify people in any of the photos or have other photos of the Citadel with Dengates in, please get in touch!

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