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Wartime West Sussex 1939-45

About Wartime West Sussex 1939-45


The content in these web pages was researched and compiled by Library Service Project Officers, Helen Blakeborough and Katy Elliott Viney.

Archivists at West Sussex Record Office, particularly Alan Readman, provided a great deal of assistance and expertise.

The website itself was constructed by West Sussex County Council’s Online Service Delivery team, particularly Paul Beattie and Melissa Goddard. The council's Children’s Services Learning unit helped with the case studies for teachers, particularly Richard McFahn, General Advisor.

West Sussex County council is very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund which supplied 98% of the funding costs.


Volunteers played a crucial role in the project and we thank them most sincerely for their contribution. Twelve volunteers, in teams of 2, conducted oral history interviews with 24 people who came forward to share their memories. Eighteen volunteers took on the challenging and time-consuming task of searching local newspapers for important events and significant people.

The volunteers were:

Angela Levy
Barbara Pavitt
Beryl Martin
The Home Guard, Crawley, c1944Breda Gibson
Chris Jones
Christine Roberts
David Start
Eileen Colwell
Elizabeth Everett
Ian Bagshaw
Jane Bristow
Jane Weston
Janet Hill
John Lewis
Julia Westgate
Linda Kane
Olive Bagshaw
Olive Miles
Rebecca Sims
Robert Evans
Stephanie Druce
Stephen Watts
Tessa Edwards


Some 24 people came forward to offer their memories of World War II, and again, without their contribution this project would have been less rich.

The interviewees were:

Brian Morris
Catherine Punnett
A group of Air Raid Precaution (ARP) wardens, Worthing, c1940Cynthia Bacon
Doreen Norris
Geoff Hilder
Gillian Mellors
Iris Golds
Jean Cracknell
Jean Ogilvie
Jill Tait
John Wakeford
Noel Weedon
Olive Miles
Reg Carter
Reg Miles
Robert Worley
Ron Sims
Sheila Barns
Sylvia Robins
Ted Fox
Terence Lucas
Tony Penfold
2 people prefer to remain anonymous

Other contributors

The following kindly supplied documents, images and/or information:

  • Jenny Hickman (Frank L’Allouette - Bognor photographs)
  • Peter Jerrome (Petworth School case study)
  • Leigh Lawson (Leslie Speller and Great Escape case studies)
  • Jill Tait (Ashdown Forest evacuee photographs)
  • Fiona Murrell (help with the Mass Observation Archives)
  • Chris Tod, Steyning Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • West Sussex Record Office


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Military men walk past the museum and library, Worthing, c1944
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