During the Second World War troops for coastal defence were billeted in Pheasant Copse just to the north-east of River Common.  Foundations of huts are still to be seen there, though now much overgrown. Petworth Park was the home for a short while of Canadian troops; Queen Elizabeth came here to review them in 1943. Canadian veterans today return annually to Wisborough Green for a service in memory of the Dieppe raid of August 1942, planned and carried out from these parts.  The Army also occupied the building at Snowhill inside  Petworth Park wall, long since demolished.
world WAR ii
This page will be fully populated over the coming months
The defence of Tillington in the summer of 1940, when the German invasion from France seemed imminent, was placed under Colonel Sutton, commander of the Local Defence Volunteers, and Colonel Holland the Company Commander. The WVS arranged the accommodation of evacuee children in the parish and the Womens Land Army carried on vital and devoted work on all the local farms; a threshing gang was billeted in Tillington during the War.

On the morning of 29th September 1942 the area was stunned to learn that a lone German bomber had passed low over Petworth and dropped three bombs which landed on the Petworth Boys School, killing twenty-eight boys and two teachers. Canadian troops rushed to the school helping to rescue trapped boys and later clearing the site of rubble.  This tragic event is still commemorated today and relatives and friends of the Canadian Veterans often visit the area.

The parish still has a few residents who have spent most of their lives in one of our villages and who have childhood memories of the war years.   We will publish these as they become available.

Click for Tillington WWII
Click for images of the
1939 -1945 Home Guard
Click for William Herrington and 
of Petworth Boys School - 1942