War and Water 1945 – the role Portsmouth Water played leading up to and during WW2
Portsmouth Water Company’s head office and main water collection springs are situated immediately south of Rowlands Castle which straddles the underground chalk aquifer through which the water flows. As a point of interest, the river Lavant, only flows past the Village and floods when the chalk aquifer is over full.
As our nation has reached key anniversary milestones over the last few years, the interest in the history of the Second World War and the sacrifices and achievements made by so many of our people at that time has never been stronger.
When we looked back through our own archives recently we came across a somewhat unusual publication entitled “War and Water” produced in 1945.
We thought that there would be some interest in this information so decided to produce the publication again. The text has deliberately not been changed from the original wording but we have added photographs both from our own archives and our friends at the Portsmouth News in order to support the text.
The publication details events involving Portsmouth Water in the years leading up to and during the Second World War including the preparations for “D-Day” and how we planned to ensure that water supply would be plentiful for the massing troops preparing to invade France.
It describes how preparations were being made nearly 5 years before the outbreak of war to ensure that the strategically important city of Portsmouth was able to deal with the aftermath air raid attacks and prepare for possible enemy invasion.
Whilst most publications deal with the actions and sacrifices of those in active military service, this publication reminds us of the great efforts made by those who stayed at home; from a Portsmouth Water perspective it illustrates how our employees put their lives in danger by ensuring water was supplied throughout the conflict often whilst bombs were still falling. Two members of staff paid the ultimate sacrifice whilst doing just that.
We hope people will find this chronicle of Second World War events through the eyes of Portsmouth Water of interest.