Red Alert

In 1942 Bert Morris, a fitter and turner by trade, was working at Chivertons garage in Newport. He installed new machinery in part of the garage given over to war work, producing thousands of component parts for spitfires, landing craft, pumps for floating pontoons for bridges, etc he worked from 8.00 to 8.00 with a motor cycle journey to and from Newport.

One night Bert Morris and his friend Sid Higgins were returning from work, with Sid as his pillion, they had a very adventurous journey. At Bowcombe they got entangled with a cat, they were alright but sad to say the cat came off worse. They approached slowly towards Shorwell where a road block was manned by soldiers of the Black Watch, they showed their headlamp, which consisted of a hood with thin strips of light, as he wished to read some papers. They duly complied and at the same time one of the sentry’s discharged his rifle, luckily no one was injured or killed. (A court Marshall was held and Mr Frank Chiverton said “he was disturbed to think the Army could shot his men going home from work“) They proceeded to the next check point by the Crown Inn Shorwell only to be told there was a red alert and it would be best to put out what little light they had and carry on. They managed to get almost to Brighstone, but had to stop in the road because towards Grange farm and the holiday camp there were strings of flares coming down followed by bombs. Sadly on this occasion , many soldiers who were billeted in the area were killed. Bert and Sid were left struggling in the middle of the road pushing and pulling the motor cycle to get it a under a hedge and out of sight. They eventually arrived home unscathed.