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Eastbourne during the war years and bombing pictures

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Eastbourne was one of the most bombed towns in the south east and this week we continue our look back at how the town survived in the Second World War.

After a break in bombings over Christmas and New Year the German campaign began again on January 14 when four fighter bombers attacked the town at low level dropping bombs in Green Street, Hartington Place, Wilmington Terrace and Duke Street.

The siren and local warning system had been put out of action by a storm. Seven people were killed and 38 injured.

A week later after dropping bombs at Southlands estate in Polegate, four bombers raced home over the districts of Baldwin Avenue, Salehurst Road, Longland Road and Summerdown Road with their cannons and machine guns blazing.

Some damage was caused from gunfire on the ground and a gun crew at Cow Gap claimed to have shot one plane down into the sea. Parts of the plane and the body of a German airman were washed up later.

On February 7 1943 500 kg bombs were dropped in the centre of town. One bomb pierced the Fire Station before exploding inside and demolishing the building, several houses and shops were also badly damaged and another bomb demolished Cave’s Cafe and Russell and Bromley in Terminus Road, Truform and Brufords’ premises. Fifteen people died and 72 were injured.

Exactly one month later 16 planes attacked the town bombing the RAF pylon at the top of Warren Hill, New Upperton Road, Upperton Road, Bakers Road, Brightland Road, Monceux Road, Barclays Bank, Cornfield Road, Junction Road, Jevington Gardens, Mostyn Hotel, Meads Street, Milnthorpe Road, Staveley Road and St John’s Road.

Extensive damage was caused to houses and businesses and once again rescue parties were called in from outlying districts to help the local services. Some 14 people died and 59 were injured.

Photos show bombings at Barclays Bank, the public library, in Meads Street, Terminus Road and at Bruford’s and Caffyns Garage.

 

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