Eastbourne bomb survivor passes away


The only uninjured survivor of a German bomb attack on Eastbourne town centre during the Second World War Two has died.

Hazel Corke had just left Cavendish School at the age of 14 and was working at Marks & Spencer in Terminus Road as a sales assistant when the store suffered a direct hit just before Christmas 1942.

Hazel, who had been working there for three months, was at the rear of the store at the time and – as was reported in the local Eastbourne paper of December 1942 – was the only person to emerge unscathed while her friends and colleagues were either killed or injured.

She went on to marry twice and had four daughters Sandra, Christine, Maureen and Tracey.

Hazel lived with her husband Les Roper for more than 50 years in Penhale Road until suffering a major stoke two years ago, which left her paralysed and unable to speak.

Her son-in-law Terry Cowley said this week, “At the time of her passing she was a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. “She passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday February 18 aged 88 at the Devonshire Nursing Home in Meads.

“A celebration of Hazel’s life will be held at Eastbourne Crematorium at 2.30pm on Friday March 17 and afterwards at the Railway Club, Hampden Park.”