By Rob Vinall

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'VINALL FAMILY' page

This a photo of my grandfather Frank Vinall, quayside in Dieppe. I am unsure of the date but probably about 1920. He has clearly enjoyed the local hospitality, which he did on a regular basis as he was a stoker on the cross channel steamers, again not sure what boats.

He was in the Royal Sussex Regiment in WW1 and was at Mons and then wounded at the first battle of Ypres. I am not sure whether he was discharged, but at some stage he must have joined the merchant service.  I was only 9 when he died and did not, to my regret, ask him about his life previously.

My brother Rodney joined the Brighton as deck boy at 15 and was welcomed in Dieppe by the younger versions of the same providers of local hospitality, once they knew of his background.  There was a large black and white photograph of a hospital ship on the wall of grandmothers house and I was told he served on that in WW2 apparently it took a direct hit somewhere in the channel.

If anyone can put flesh on any of these bones or had relatives who served with him I would love to hear from them. One of his brothers in law was Jack Simmons, grandmothers brother, who features in these pages.

Newhaven is a small town and I am always amazed at the names I don't recognise compared to the people I do know!

An addendum to above I have just found my grandfather in a photo of the crew of the Arundel, so I now what ship he was on!

This page was added by Rob Vinall on 02/12/2017.
Comments about this page

Hi Rob,

Are you related to Peggy & Charlie Vinall? If so, Peggy was friends with my Mum, Marcia Tovey [nee Stapley], for many years. I have a couple of photos of them from the early 1950s and also have the invitation to their wedding in 1955 which was sent to my Mum. 

Mark Tovey

By Mark Tovey
On 09/09/2018


Hello Mark, I found this while browsing the site. Rob is my brother and yes Charlie Vinall who lived in Northdown Road was our father’s cousin and didn’t live far from us in Western Road. I remember them well and my sister Alison and I went to Charlie’s funeral. I’d love to see photos of them when young, I always planned to record Peggy’s lovely Sussex accent and to my regret I never did, it must be very rare now.

By Val Lidster (Vinall)
On 30/06/2019

Hi Val,

I saw your post and was hoping to add a couple of photos to this page in reply but that doesn't seem possible, so I'll endeavour to get them uploaded on a separate page at some point.

Our family left Newhaven when I was 10, after my Mum died, but I do remember often visiting Peggy with my Mum when I was a boy - her kitchen door to the garden had a blue and white door streamer attached to it [funny how such an inconsequential detail can stick in the memory]. It's a shame we never kept in touch with Peggy after we left; it was only recently from going through old family photos that I realised my Mum, Marcia, had known Peggy from the late 1930s and had pretty much grown up together as best friends - my Mum lived at my Nan's shop, Mrs Warnes General Store at 1 High Street, whilst Peggy was born across the river on Denton Island. I recently had contact with Peggy & Charlie's daughter, Diane, and was sad to hear they had both passed away. By the way, my Mum had the old Sussex accent too!

Regards, Mark

By Mark Tovey
On 05/07/2019

It's often better to create a new page with new photos. 

You can always add a link to the original page in your new page, or one of the editors can do this.

But if you just want to have a photo or two added to a page, email the editors on with the details and the photos. We'll do the rest!


By Andy Gilbert
On 07/07/2019

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