World War II anniversary

Looking back 80 years - Horsham 1939 on the eve of war

Eighty years ago the country was plunged into the Second World War, with the County Times covering all the local news at the time.

Later in the year, nearer the actual date, we will mark the occasion with a special feature in the paper. However, as part of the County Times’ own 150th anniversary, here are some memories of 1939 as the Horsham district, along with the rest of the country prepared for war. Evacuees, air raid shelters, and gas masks were the order of the day but the year also saw some major local landmarks appear.

One of Horsham's three air raid shelters, at the junction of Kings Road and Station Road. The others were in Worthing Road and the North Street subway
One of Horsham's three air raid shelters, at the junction of Kings Road and Station Road. The others were in Worthing Road and the North Street subway
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The black-out was taken very seriously in preparation for possible bombing raids and the courts clamped down on anyone not observing the law
The black-out was taken very seriously in preparation for possible bombing raids and the courts clamped down on anyone not observing the law
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There was much speculation as to how the war would pan out. But contrary to the speaker's views Horsham was bombed and 22 civilians lost their lives
There was much speculation as to how the war would pan out. But contrary to the speaker's views Horsham was bombed and 22 civilians lost their lives
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Life carried on in 1939 and the Crawley bypass was officially opened
Life carried on in 1939 and the Crawley bypass was officially opened
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