Steyning Museum: Marvellous memento of Canadian Army's time in Steyning

A marvellous memento of the days when the Canadian Army was guarding the south coast has been donated to Steyning Museum.

The inscribed pint tankard was a gift for Jack Hunt, landlord of The Soldier's Return pub in Charlton Street, Steyning, during World War Two. He was known as 'Pop' and the mug bears the inscription: "Pop Happy Days SAS L.I. (MC) Canadian Army 1942."

Ray Powell, Steyning Museum volunteer, said: "The Canadian Saskatoon Light Infantry was based in Steyning to guard the south coast. Some of the Canadians were billeted around the town, while others camped on the Downs, with many of them gathering at The Soldier’s Return to slake their thirst.

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"When they learned they would be moving on, the Canadians clubbed together and purchased the silver mug, which they had specially engraved for 'Pop'. A few weeks later, these young men were among the Allied forces involved in the Dieppe Raid. Tragically, fewer than half returned."

Janet Sawyer and her son Paul hand their donations to Andrew Woodfield, Steyning Museum’s curator of exhibitions

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He said the museum was delighted to receive the generous donation of this 'very special pint mug' along with three pewter beer measures.

They were gifts from Janet Sawyer and her family, who have lived in Steyning for a while. It was Janet's mother who passed down the landlord’s mug to her.

Ray said: "We are very grateful that she has decided to bring these items back to Steyning as part of our history."

The items feature in Steyning Museum’s new summer exhibition, Charlton Street, which reflects on the history of the street, selected buildings and some of the past inhabitants, including ‘Hugo, Scooby Doo’.