Eastbourne Looking Back war years

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Looking Back continues its look at how Eastbourne survived during the Second World War thanks to the complete record of almost six years of war in the town.

The book’s editor N Hardy writes, “On June 23 1944 the Beachy Head Signal Station and the Observer Post got a shaking when a flying bomb hit the cliff slope about 50 yards away at 10.45pm and slight damage was caused.

“About 7pm on July 4 1944 a fighter intercepted a flying bomb as it approached the coast near Langney Point.

“The intention of the pilot as he flew just behind it was obvious – he was waiting to get it over open countryside before shooting it down.

“When over Astaire Avenue he ‘gave it a squirt’ and the doodle, instead of going down in a shallow dive, did a nose dive to earth and crasged at the rear of Astaire Avenue.

“Six houses were demolished and considerable damage was caused to property over a wide area. Thirty-one people were injured.”

“At 10pm on the same day another flying bomb crashed in marshland near Tutts Barn Lane causing superficial damage to property. “

The bombing continued in July and on July 27 six houses were demolished at Brassey Avenue in Hampden Park when another flying bomb crashed at 7.25pm amd 34 people were injured.

Mr Hardy continues, “August 1 1944 at 3.36pm one flying bomb was shot down by fighters over the Downs.

“There was superficial damage to property and three people were injured.

“The following day at 10.15am AA guns exploded another flying bomb in the air over Meads and on August 6 another doodle crashed near Beachy Head at 3.45am.

“On August 7 at 11.16pm a damaged doodle enveloped in flames crossed the coast near Holywell with engine stopped and slowly losing height. It crashed near St Elisabeth’s Church demolishing some houses in Baldwin Avenue and severely damaging others over a wide area.

“Sixteen people were injured.”

The final entry regarding bombing in the book is on August 14 1944 when another flying bomb was destroyed in the air over Holywell by AA causing superficial damage.

Our photographs this week show the National Fire Service at Work, bombing in Ocklynge Road and Meads Street, rescues taking place in bomb damaged properties and the scene of devastation at homes in Eastbourne.