D-Day 75: West Sussex people played their role

West Sussex Record Office is marking 75 years since the D-Day landings.

 

Release date: 4 June 2019

West Sussex Record Office is marking 75 years since the D-Day landings.

It has released a new edition of a book ‘D-Day West Sussex.’

Among the stories featured by West Sussex people in the historic event, is the story of Lieutenant-Commander Robert Lochner, RNVR, whose invention helped make the D-Day landings possible.

Lochner experimented in the garden pond at his home at Linchmere near Midhurst to create ‘floating sea walls’ (Mulberry Harbours) which allowed supply lorries and other support vehicles to land safely on the Normandy beaches.

The book is available at the Record Office in Orchard Street, Chichester and from all public libraries in West Sussex.

Visitors to the Record Office will also be able to read the diary of a General, written just days before D-Day.

This, along with other poignant items, is on display in the reception area. In the diary General Lashmer Gordon Whistler of the Royal Sussex Regiment, described how he felt before D-Day: “A very strange feeling being in England waiting for the final campaign to start.”

“I hope I am not going to be too frightened.”

A Military Voices ‘listening turret’ is also available where visitors can hear first-hand accounts from veterans describing their experiences of the Second World War and other conflicts.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “Visiting the Record Office and seeing these objects first hand is an incredibly moving experience which really brings these stories to life. West Sussex people played a really important role in D-Day as we see in this book. It is vital that we remember the sacrifices made by commemorating the anniversary.”

The book priced at £7.95.

For more information, visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/record-office-shop/

For more information about the Record Office visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/ro

Other events taking place to mark the anniversary include:

• A workshop for pupils at Bishop Luffa School by West Sussex Record Office and the University of Chichester (3 June)
• ‘Chichester D-Day’ talks at the University of Chichester (4 June)
• A screening of ‘The Longest Day’ at New Park Cinema (9 June)

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