The SS Arthur Wright was built by William Pickersgill & Sons at their Southwick, Sunderland yard in 1937 for the Brighton Corporation. It was a 1,097-ton vessel, the Corporation’s first collier, and used for conveying fuel to the electricity works at Portslade. Named after the first (1894) manager and engineer of the works (he also designed the first domestic supply meter) the Arthur Wright carried coal mainly from the Yorkshire and Welsh coalfields via the ports of Goole and Port Talbot.
1942: 7 Canadian Soldiers die in accident on the river
The West Nova Scotia Regiment had been carrying out defensive and security duties at various places in the southeast of England before arriving at Worthing on the 22ndNovember 1941 from their previous posting at Newhaven. Here they took over responsibility for the area including Shoreham Airport from the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The official strength of the Regiment at the time was 36 officers and 840 other ranks.
In the Shoreham area some billeting was arranged for the Canadians in local residents homes but others were also thought to have been housed at the Grammar School in Pond Road (the pupils had been evacuated) and more under canvas in the school’s playing fields, now the Greenacres housing estate, where a searchlight, anti aircraft gun and heavy machine gun emplacements were installed
Besides their day-to-day duties the men, like all soldiers from whatever regiment or country at the time, received ongoing training, route marches and exercises. The latter were necessarily made as realistic as possible to harden the men in readiness for what was anticipated to be an eventual return to the continent and renewed face-to-face conflict with the enemy.
It turns out that three past and present Shoreham residents Brian Bazen, Denis Turrell and I are linked in a surprising set of coincidences. Earlier this year I was looking through Bob Hill’s collection of Old Shoreham photographs (he wrote the booklets ‘Old Shoreham Village & Farms’) in Marlipins Museum and found one of a V1 flying bomb (they were known generally as doodlebugs) that was taken through a window.
As the month of September arrived, the National news couldn’t have been worse. Local people who had no radio gathered in public houses and homes where a radio was available, everyone expected the worst. Mr Stanley Baldwin the Prime Minister spoke to say that Herr Hitler had gone back on his words of peace, would not undertake his promise not to invade Poland and because of this we were now at war with Germany.
Shoreham and Southwick Bombing and Other Incidents during WW2
This work identifies the accounts of bombings and more serious incidents (as well as some less serious but nevertheless interesting) in Shoreham and Southwick during WW2. These have been identified primarily from the official West Sussex Action Officer’s Minute Books and in some instances have been embellished with first hand reminiscences of the people that witnessed them.
“A total of 37 raids were carried out on Shoreham and Southwick by enemy aircraft during the war. These involved 143 high explosive bombs, 5 oil bombs and in excess of 2,000 incendiaries causing the deaths of 17 people and injuring 108 others.” (Shoreham Herald 6th October 1944). The number of HE bombs shown in the Minute Book reports are fewer but they do not always include all the bombs in every incident, nevertheless they still amount to over 100. Continue reading “Bombing and Other Incidents during WW2”
A unique record of Shoreham’s war as seen through the eyes of the people that lived through it. Probably the most complete record to date of wartime edited from the reminiscences of many contributors to the shorehambysea.com web site history forums and others, in particular Gerald White (whose article ‘Shoreham in World War 2 – A Diary of Events’ has provided much general information for the background of this record) and John Lyne who were both near neighbours in Connaught Avenue. Special acknowledgment is also due to Peggy Bailey a Shoreham Beach resident, Cynthia Bacon once of Swiss Gardens for her memories and photos and to Brian Bazen who lived in Eastern Avenue whose reminiscences in full can be seen on ‘Britain at War’ at Telegraph.co.uk Continue reading “Shoreham’s War”