Bognor Regis is a seaside resort town and civil parish in the Arun district of West Sussex, on the south coast of England. It is south-south-west of London, west of Brighton, and south-east of the city of Chichester. Other nearby towns include Littlehampton east-north-east and Selsey to the south-west. The nearby villages of Felpham, briefly home to the poet William Blake, and Aldwick are now suburbs of Bognor Regis, along with those of North and South Bersted.
Bognor was a part of the ancient parish of South Bersted in the county of Sussex, attaining parish status separate from South Bersted in 1828. Until 1894 it formed part of the Hundred of Aldwick, an ancient division of Chichester Rape. From 1894 to 1974 it was part of Bognor Urban District (Bognor Regis Urban District from 1929), and since 1974 it has been a part of Arun District.
On the beach between Bognor Regis and Aldwick lies the wreck of a Floating Pontoon. It is part of the Mulberry Harbour which was towed across to Normandy on D-Day 6 June 1944. This particular section of Mulberry did not make it across the Channel and was washed up on the beach shortly after D-Day. It is clearly visible at low tide throughout the year.
The historic meeting of the crews (and associated handshake) of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project on 17 July 1975 was intended to have taken place over Bognor Regis, but a flight delay caused it to occur over Metz in France instead.
Bognor Regis town centre was damaged in 1994 by an IRA device left in a bicycle outside Woolworth's. Fifteen shops were damaged but no injuries occurred.
Tourism gradually took off in Bognor during the 19th century, with the area being chosen as an ideal location for King George V to convalesce during 1929, the King and Queen actually staying at Craigwell House in Aldwick.
As a result, the King was asked to bestow the suffix "Regis" ("of the King") on "Bognor". The petition was presented to Lord Stamfordham, the King's Private Secretary, who in turn delivered it to the King. King George supposedly replied, "Oh, bugger Bognor." Lord Stamfordham then went back to the petitioners and told them, "the King has been graciously pleased to grant your request."
A slightly different version of the "Bugger Bognor" incident is that the King, upon being told, shortly before his death, that he would soon be well enough to revisit the town, uttered the words "Bugger Bognor!" Although there is little evidence that these words were actually spoken in this context, and although the sea air helped the King to regain his health, it is certain that the King had little regard (to put it mildly) for the town.