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Looking Back at the Isle of Wight February 2, 2018

Fifty years ago: An Island-built hovercraft in Vietnam.

Fifty years ago: An Island-built hovercraft in Vietnam.

Megan Baynes

[email protected]

Monday, February 5, 2018 - 13:30

100 Years
February 2, 1918
A SOLDIER from the West Wight was shot dead while on leave, on the eve of him returning to the Western Front.
The man who shot him had been having an affair with the soldier’s wife during his three years fighting in France. The affair came to light on the soldier’s return home, which led to the killer being ‘thrashed’ by the aggrieved husband. 
According to the police, the soldier had not let the matter rest and warned the man he was going to kill him next time he saw him. The killer, fearing for his life, admitted manslaughter after he used a German revolver against the soldier, when he appeared at an Island magistrates’ court.

75 Years
February 6, 1943
In recognition of the excellent work canteen helpers and friends did to make British forces feel at home in Ryde during the Second World War, they were entertained with a social and whist drive at Ryde Town Hall.
Around 300 members of the Ryde Canteen and Social Centre, with visiting servicemen, attended. 
The audience was told nearly half a million meals were served in Ryde in 1942, with 4,000 free teas served to servicemen on Christmas Day and Boxing Day that year.

50 Years 
February 3, 1968
Three hovercraft built on the Island were being used in the Vietnam War.
The SRN5 models, built by the British Hovercraft Corporation in Cowes, were used by US Navy to ‘challenge and search’ junk boats and sampans sailing along the coasts and patrolling the rivers of the Mekong Delta.
Many times they came under fire, but were never hit, as they sped along at 70mph. The hovercrafts had been specially adapted for faster speeds, thanks to American-made turbines fitted.

25 Years 
January 29, 1993
A new dinosaur museum in Sandown was the main feature of a strategy put forward by South Wight Borough Council, aimed at reviving the bay’s flagging tourist industry.
Cllr Heather Humby said the Island should be cashing in on major prehistoric finds made locally.
“We should make an IW Dinosaur Island and, as an authority, we should be pushing the county to get cracking with a museum,” she said at a tourism sub-committee meeting of the council.

10 Years 
February 1, 2008
More than a thousand marchers converged on County Hall in a concerted bid to save Island schools from closure.
Described as the biggest protest the Island had ever seen, children, parents, teachers and councillors held banners and chanted ‘save our schools’.
The event was held in a bid to overthrow the IW Council’s education ‘shake-up’ plans, which aimed to close half the Island’s primary schools.

 


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