During World War 2 a searchlight camp was located in East Worlington in a field to the east of Little Witheridge, now known as Camp Field. There were reportedly four huts, but all the evidence of buildings and equipment has long gone.
Maurice recalls that there were four Nissan huts in the field where the soldiers lived and kept all their provisions and communication equipment. He estimated that there were between 20 and 30 men at the camp.
The soldiers would wash in the river. They also used river water to wash their lorries.
The searchlight was located at the top of camp field, on the brow of the hill, and when there was a warning of Luftwaffe in the area the light would be turned on and used to scan the skies.
Vera Sanders (Lee) lived in West Worlington during the war. She writes:
We lived at Middle Church Cottage where I would watch my father digging the graves (although I was not supposed to) we also lived at Hensley Cottage………
During the war the army set up camp in the fields of Hensley farm, every day I had to go past them to go to the farm to get the milk, everyday without fail, they would call out “who goes there” and I still have a piece of the bomb that landed.
When the army arrived they had no food and they were really hungry so mother organised bread and cheese for them, the only problem was, when they came to get it they took all of our food as well, so we were the ones that went hungry.
The photograph shows Maurice with some of the soldiers and the local Lengthsman (the person employed to keep stretches of road neat and tidy).
The marriage was reported in the Western Time – Friday October 9th 1942.
The press extract describes the wedding.