The Villages through Conflict
This page will attempt to pull together the numerous threads of local
history touching upon the various Wars which have affected our two villages.
Please visit our recent sub-page, "Bombing in the Villages".
Please also visit another new sub-page, "The Sompting Camps"
Our sub page:"Soldiers of the Queen" deals with the stories of local men during
the Boer War:
One of Pastfinders' earliest displays at Lancing Library in 1999 dealt with local
experience during the Second World War.
In 2012 the Group held a Special Evening following research into the same war at
which the researcher and author, Stewart Angel, gave a talk about his book “The
Secret Sussex Resistance” and the work of the hush-hush Home Guard units known
as the “Auxiliaries”.
Part of Stewart's story concerned the finding by the late Bill Lindfield just
after WW2 of the hideout of one of these units and its excavation.
Life in a Sherman Tank, a talk by Ken Tout
At the Special Evening in 2012 we exhibited the results of other Wartime Research including:
Prisoner of War Camps Click here:The Sompting Camps
Pastfinders have made a number of Oral History videos in which oldest residents recall their wartime memories.
One of our Local History Booklets entitled “Mrs Barrow's Diary” records her memories of the early part of the war in North Lancing when her husband was in the ARP. Please visit:
Recently Tony Gardiner talked to us about WW2 and described the psychological warfare raids carried out by Focke Wulf 190 (known as Butcher Bird) fighter bombers which flew the short distance from Northern France to attack strategic targets along this part of the coast, such as a gasworks, the Lancing Carriage Works and the Metropole in West Worthing. They were timed, he explained, at lunch and tea times to create maximum panic and, as the planes flew only a few feet above the waves at 350mph, they were in and out before our radar and the Spitfires had time even to identify their presence.Click Here:German Air Raids
The Soldiers who died
This is an interesting website: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/Lancing.html
More recently some of our members have been investigating the sites of crashed German aircraft on the Downs
Other aspects to be developed shortly:
The Sompting Prisoner of War Camps
The 1940 Farm Surveys and use of land
The Home Front .....mobilisation of the civilian population
This page is still under construction and it is intended that more information shall be added