A military camp was established on Bexhill Down in 1794 and barracks were built in 1798 alongside Belle Hill, extending to the Old Town.
The Bexhill barracks’ most famous residents were the Kings German Legion, whose infantry was based there between 1804 and 1814. These were Hanoverian troops who were kept together as a foreign corps with the British army. Also in 1804 work began on the building of the Martello Towers which protected the southeast coast of England. Although intended to repel a French invasion they were also used by the Coastal Blockade, a force to prevent smuggling.
Soldiers from Bexhill fought in the Boer War and the South African Campaign. The 8th Earl went as a war correspondent but was wounded and returned to Bexhill in 1900. The rest of the local soldiers returned in 1902 and were taken back to their homes by motor car. For them this would have been a novel experience.