With reference to your article in the Worthing Herald (Thursday, June 4) about the raid on St Mary’s Catholic School, the raid was not against the school itself, but because of the close proximity to Victoria Park.
During the time of the raids, the park was used by the Canadian regiments to keep a large number of military vehicles hidden and camouflaged.
These vehicles were often the target for raiding German fighter planes, who let forth a barrage of fire as they roared across the treetops, but the locality of neighbouring buildings were often hit by stray fire.
As St Mary’s School boundary was immediately next to the park it was often struck by the discarded shell cases from marauding aircraft, as was Cobden Road, the road where the entrance to the school was.
Although at the time of the war I was only a small lad, I was born and brought up in Cobden Road and I can remember the story of my father, who, upon returning to work after his lunch break, was pumping up his bicycle tyre outside the house, when a fighter plane peppered the road with shells.
My father carried on pumping up his tyre then went back to work as if nothing unusual had occurred.
I hope that this email will give you further insight into the area during the war, an area that was occupied by a large number of Canadian troops, who were barracked in a number of deserted houses in Worthing, houses that were empty because the occupants had moved away, fearing that the German invasion, should it have come, would be along the coastline around Worthing.
former Worthing resident
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