Circa 1945

By Trevor Sexton

This photo shows a small part of the Sexton family, and I am placing this photograph here in memory of my father, James Sexton who passed away 14/12/10.

This was just at the end of the war, and the whole family of brother and sisters were in the military. Even my father forged his birth cetificate to get into the Army early! The Army after the war wanted these brothers and sisters as a recruitment campaign. They had close to 100 years service between them. As I say this is just a few of them.

From left to Right: Joe Sexton, Tom Sexton, Frank Sexton, James Sexton, Grandad Sexton, Ivy Sexton (Frank's wife), and Grandma Sexton. The picture also shows Frank and Ivy's three children, who in this photo I do not know exactly who is who.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'SEXTON FAMILY' page
This page was added by Trevor Sexton on 11/02/2012.
Comments about this page

Hi, I lived next door to Joe and his wife Mary in the Nissen huts on "the Mount" Mount Pleasant late 40's early 50's. I went to school with Frank Jnr, son of Frank and Ivy [she was a lovely lady]. Frank Snr was one of our boxing instructors at the Newhaven Boys Club. Connie, one of the wives, used to do " potato picking" with my mother and several other local ladies for farmer Bowles and others. It was hard back-breaking work in those days. I knew most of the people in that photo. Many of us lived in the Gibbon Rd, Southdown Road area, and were "proud of it". Ivy lived to a good age and still worked in her late years.

By Colin Brandon
On 11/02/2012

Hi Trevor, sorry to hear about your father, always a very hospitable man, I was good friends with your brother David and would stop over in your house every week on the way from school to piano lessons with Miss Moyes. Best regards

By Rob Patten
On 11/02/2012

Mrs Sexton ... lived on Southdown Road! I remember her, I think my older brother, Terry, used to "hang out" with one of her sons.

Not the same family, the Sextons above lived in Gibbon Road, although they are probably related.

By Tony Kingaby
On 17/02/2012

This photo was taken for the Sussex Express when Frank returned home from the POW camp. The 3 girls are Eileen, Perle & Betty and are the only ones still alive from that picture. Connie Sexton (my mum) still lives in Southdown Road. Dolly the last of my dad's brothers/sisters passed away in early January this year.

By Ray Sexton
On 19/02/2012

Frank worked for Bannisters Builders as a painter and decorator when I was there, lovely chap.

By John Snow
On 01/07/2012

Frank and Ivy were my nan and grandad, and they were wonderful the best you could ever ask for! Pearl is my mum. I have not seen this picture before so thank you for posting it

By Tracey Thomson
On 21/02/2013

My mum Pearl is the young lady that my nan Ivy is holding Eileen is standing and Bet is being held by my grandad.

By Tracey Thomson
On 21/02/2013

That's my ‘Uncle’ Frank and ‘Aunty’ Ivy. They were great people.

The Sexton family in Newhaven was a little bit confusing; I didn’t really have much idea about it until by chance I received a letter in 1989 from Jim Sexton in Dorset, who has done a great job in tracing the Sexton family tree.

Armed with this new information I visited my Granny in Scotland, only to be told, ‘That family tree’s have many branches’.

 Joseph Sexton b1863 married Alice Clarke.

They had four sons -

George William.b1982. Charles Henry b1984 Frank and Joseph.

The Frank in the picture is Frank’s son.

The story is that Joseph deserted Alice and she had two more sons with a man called John Bishop.

The boys, Jack and William Edward took their mother's name of Sexton.

William Edward was my grandfather. He grew up in Newhaven and because of the age differences he was close age wise to young Frank.

At the young age of 12 or 13 William Edward was having problems with his father, John Bishop, and on the advice of one of his older half brothers took a boat to Ireland to work in a stable.

He joined the Army at 16 and there he met up with a young Scottish lad and when they left the Army they went back to Scotland and then went to work in the cotton mills in Lancaster border country.

William Edward met his mate's sister Ellen Whelan and they married and had two sons, my father William Edward Jnr and John, who died as an infant.

When William Edward came home to Newhaven for a visit with his young bride Ellen there was a bit of a 'scandal' because she became very close to young Frank.

I not sure it was anything, just rumours and two young people hitting it off. In later years, early 80's I think I took Ellen down to Frank and Ivy’s for a visit, they all got on well enough, but when it came to staying overnight Ellen refused to stay in the same house as Frank, still worried about what 'people' would say.

Frank was a great bloke, only little, he looked like Captain Birdseye. Ivy on the other hand was a big girl. Theirs was a true love story.

He lost his arm in the war, but still worked on fishing boats and as a painter and decorator. 

He was blown up as he got off the boat. He was picked up and put on a truck that was taking men to hospital, but the doctor decided that he wasn't going to make it and they threw him into the ditch at the side of the road.
The Germans picked him up and took him to a POW camp, where he spent the war. Ivy thought he was dead, but eventually they got a letter via Spain. He was in the same camp as Douglas Barder a famous spitfire pilot who was shot down and lost both his legs. They made a film about him. Frank said he was a pain in the arse because he kept trying to escape; he didn't get far, because he had no legs but every time he tried they stopped the Red Cross parcels.
Frank worked as a painter and he used to hook himself to his ladder but one day he fell off and shattered his leg. It healed but was about an inch shorter than his other leg; this gave him a rolling gait.

He went to a dance and wore an artificial arm, it became detached an slid across the dance floor, much to the alarm of the woman he was dancing with, who didn’t know that he had lost his arm.

Great people, a great family they had a son Harold I recall. They always made me feel very welcome.

Andrew Sexton. Brisbane, Australia.

By Andrew Sexton
On 19/05/2014

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.