75th anniversary of Petworth Boys School bombing to be commemorated

George Homewood and Annabel Strange from Petworth Primary School lay the wreath at last year's memorial service
George Homewood and Annabel Strange from Petworth Primary School lay the wreath at last year's memorial service

Plans are taking shape in Petworth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the Boys School.

A generation of the middle class was wiped out when three bombs dropped on Petworth on Tuesday, September 29. One of them hit a tree and ricocheted into the school killing 28 boys, headmaster Charles Stevenson and assistant teacher Charlotte Marshall and injuring many more.

Those who died are remembered at an annual service at the memorial set in the Horsham Road cemetery attended by children from Petworth Primary School as well as those with personal memories.

Chris Kemp told a full meeting of the town council he believed it was important to commemorate the event: “We need to get things started now and I would like the message that we are doing something, to go out to everybody in the town and also families no longer living here.”

He said headteacher, John Galvin suggested holding a reception at the school. Father Mark Gilbert, rector of St Mary’s, put forward the idea of a service at the parish church and a parade to the Horsham Road cemetery. Mr Kemp suggested enlisting the help of the Petworth Society to put on an exhibition of the history and how Petworth came together after the tragedy.

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