100 years ago - January 25, 1919

The County Press reported, with deep regret, that the youngest son of the King and Queen, Prince John, had died aged 13.

Prince John had been in a delicate state of health for a few years.

His funeral was held at Sandringham and was ‘simple in character’.


Rector of Freshwater, Rev H. Coombes, and the Rev S. Herbert held a welcome home gathering for men who had returned from war.

More than 18 soldiers had returned to Freshwater and the rev said the men were looking particularly hardy despite the trials they had experienced.

Local musicians supplied the background to the dance while the town locals made refreshments.

75 years ago - January 22, 1944

A Newport woman was fined £1 for allowing a light to show from the premises during a blackout.

The woman had not blacked out her bathroom and a police officer had noticed her skylight.

She explained her husband usually put up the blackout and she had forgotten the bathroom.


HRH Princess Beatrice – royal governor of the Island – agreed the Island battalion of the Army Cadet Force should bear her name.

The war office also approved the new title, which then read: “The 19th-20th (Princess Beatrice’s) Wight Cadet Battalion.”

The cadet force had a strength of nearly 500 with companies across the Island.

50 years ago - January 25, 1969

Mary Wilson, wife of the Prime Minister, christened a new hovercraft with the name ‘Swift’.

At the naming ceremony, Mrs Wilson broke the traditional bottle of champagne on the hovercraft’s bow.

‘Swift’ then slipped into the sea to continue crew training and last safety checks before out for service.


Stormy weather across the Island had left multiple areas damaged.

Thick layers of oil-soaked seaweed and driftwood – up to a foot thick in places – covered Steephill Cove.

The River Yar had overflown and large areas of fields between Brading and Bembridge Harbour lay underwater.

25 years ago - January 28, 1994

A store war looked set to break out with supermarkets battling for customers following news Sainsbury’s was to open on the IW.

The company confirmed it was considering locating a store in the Newport area just two weeks before the long-awaited Marks and Spencer’s was due to open.


A leading expert on land movements warned it was too late to save the hamlet of Blackgang from eventually slipping into the sea.

Although it could not be saved, Dr Bruce Denness called for a more detailed analysis on similar locations to save other places falling to the same fate.

10 years ago - January 23, 2009

More than 200 jobs were set to be axed at County Hall as council chiefs struggled to plug an £8m black hole in the finances.

A council tax increase of 3.5 per cent was on the cards as they tried to balance the books and combat the effects of the credit crunch.

The costs of concessionary bus fares scheme, plus the recession, were blamed for the cutbacks.


At least 325 operations were put off at St Mary’s Hospital due to the massive demand of winter.

Bosses were forced to put the Newport hospital on red alert — the most serious — amid very high numbers of emergency admissions, which put services under serious pressure.

Sheila Paul, acting chief executive, said it was an issue facing the whole country.