New war memorial for Eastbourne approved

SUS-160218-113018001

SUS-160218-113018001

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A new memorial at the Wish Tower for Eastbourne’s civilian victims of enemy bombing in the Second World War World War II has been given the green light by town planners.

The memorial wall within the moat of the Wish Tower is likely to cost more than £120,000 and a fundraising appeal to help build it will be launched soon by historians.

It will be engraved with the names of 174 people who lost their lives in 112 raids during a three year period when Eastbourne was the most bombed town in the south east.

The memorial will replace the original one – Wish Tower Cafe Sun Lounge opened in 1961 after local councillor Gilbert Foyle paid half the cost – which was demolished in 2012 when the neighbouring cafe fell in to a state of disrepair.

Members of Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee gave permission for the memorial to go ahead at a meeting on Tuesday night.

The Eastbourne Civilian Memorial Trust is behind the application and says it will be constructed from light coloured granite with the spiral inset in a contrasting colour with a glazed centre.

“The proposed memorial contains an inscription listing out the names of the 174 local residents within Eastbourne who were killed during the World War Two bombing raids,” said a memorial trust spokesperson.

“It will also have a gazed panel inscribed with a quote from Sir Winston Churchill and there will be a seating area, for contemplation and relaxation.”

A council spokesperson said, “It is considered the proposed memorial is well designed and fits in well with its setting, and overall the works would preserve and enhance the setting of this important historic asset.”

Eastbourne received a serious pounding from German bombs during World War Two and was a regular victim to “hit and run” raids by the Luftwaffe.

It has been estimated 700 high explosive and 4,000 incendiary bombs landed on the town.

More than 470 houses and three churches were totally demolished and one in 12 residents were either killed or injured, while 474 houses and three churches were totally demolished.

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