100 years ago - November 9, 1918

Writing to his mother, a young Newport officer wrote humorously of the censorship of his letters.

He wrote: “I don’t want to get into trouble, so I shall merely tell you I am well and am here.

“To get from there to here, I proceeded along a route of which I may not speak, in a direction of which I may not tell and by means of a transportation which it is perhaps better not to mention.”


A steam wagon steersman was crushed to death while on a steam wagon in Newport.

John Henry Bignell, 25, was sitting on the side of the wagon when the engine started moving too fast.

The wagon rushed towards a building and the brakes failed.

75 years ago - November 13, 1943

A parachutist prisoner of war in Italy arrived home on the IW.

D. J. Miller, son of Mrs E. Miller of Sandown, escaped from the prison and reached the Island after 32 days and travelling more than 300 miles.

He said during his imprisonment he met several Island men.


The Rev and Mrs E. Royds, of St John’s Vicarage, Ryde, received word a German-controlled radio station at Calais had broadcast a message from one of their two prisoner of war sons.

The message from Wilfred Royds read: “Safe and well in Bavaria. Don’t worry. Love.”

Wilfred was the vicar’s eldest son and was captured two years before.

50 years ago - November 2, 1968

Hundreds of goods vehicle owners were affected by new legislation under the Ministry of Transport’s Road Safety Act.

Unless drivers took immediate action to ensure their vehicles were up to ministry standards, they were liable to have their lorries banned from the roads.

About 40 per cent of vehicles tested on the Island were defective.


A Wroxall nurse received an MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Edith Mary Bunce was trained at the Royal Free Hospital and became a state registered nurse.

She was then appointed to the south of the Island Nursing Association, for which she received the honour.

25 years ago - November 5, 1993

With just seven weeks to Christmas, almost one sixth of the workforce at Westland Aerospace, the IW’s largest employer, were set to lose their jobs.

Rumours of staff cuts had been rife at the factory and the firm announced 264 redundancies.

The unions accepted the 15 per cent job loss was inevitable.


A prisoner escaped from Camp Hill jail just weeks after another went missing.

Kevin Fitzmaurice, who was serving three years for burglary, was found to be missing at the evening roll check.

Two weeks before, Jeffrey Harrison went missing after he was given a day’s parole to make his own way to Ford Open Prison, Sussex.

10 years ago - November 7, 2008

A rallying call was issued to Islanders to speak up or face losing the Yarmouth to Lymington ferry.

There were concerns the fierce negativity from opponents to Wightlink’s new ferries would lead to the axing of the route.

Wightlink said if it could not use its specially ordered new ferries, there would be no service.


Open warfare broke out between the Island’s two top politicians over a Standard Board for England investigation into IW councillors.

Tory MP Andrew Turner described the investigation as reprehensible and said the councillors accused were at worst, guilty of an error of judgement. The IW Council leader, Cllr David Pugh, accused him of seeking a whitewash.