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William Masefield
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William Masefield

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Roadside Memorial, Stopham


This memorial is on an old, by-passed section of the A283 road from Petworth to Pulborough, slightly south of Stopham bridge. It is in memory of William Masefield who was the Rector of Stopham and Hardham.
The local story of the incident, to which the memorial refers, is that, on 4th Oct. 1940, during World War 2, a German aircraft attempted to straffe a number of children on this road. Mr. Masefield ushered them into a nearby ditch but in doing so was fatally shot himself. All the children survived.
It would be imagined that children walking in formation, two abreast, could appear, when glimpsed fom a fast moving aircraft, as troops on the move.
The inscription on the memorial, which although hidden from immediate view, is obviously tended and bears the remains of remembrance poppies and crosses, holds some creedance to the story. The fact that the memorial was erected leads one to believe that some memorable incident occurred.
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Plaque reads...
Near this spot
William Beech Masefield
[Late chaplain R.N.]
For seven years
Rector of the parishes of
Stopham and Hardham
was killed by enemy action
October 4th, 1940
photo- Phil Dixon - 18 Aug. 2007
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Discovering the memorial
photo- Phil Dixon - 18 Aug. 2007 - - - next photo

Memorial, Stopham
photo- Phil Dixon - 18 Aug. 2007

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    last page edit Feb.2019
    .1st page edit Sep.2007

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