More stories behind Eastbourne’s World War Two dead

Harry Shadbolt
Harry Shadbolt

We continue our look this week at the stories behind civilians who lost their lives in Eastbourne during the Second World War.

A memorial to those who died during the conflict has taken pride of place within the Peace Garden at the Wish Tower and as the fundraising appeal continues, we have asked people for their stories about their relatives who were killed.

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Tracey Tucker writes, “My great grandmother Annie Guy died on March 28 1941 at 17 Churchdale Road.

Peggy the dog survived and my great Aunt May also survived but my great grandmother Annie unfortunately lost her life.

“My mum is still alive and she remembers some of it but she tells me there is a picture from the Eastbourne paper at the time with someone pulling the dog out from the wreckage.”

Annette Jemison’s family is related to John Hunter, a fireman killed at Eastbourne Fire Station, now on the site of the library in Grove Road.

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Annette says, “He was sadly found dead still standing upright.”

Trevor Pettitt has also written in about his uncle William Freeman.

“My uncle William is listed on the current roll of honour,” said Trevor.

“William, a butcher age 48 was killed on June 4 1943 in, I believe, his butcher’s shop on Grove Road.

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“Born in Woodmancote, West Sussex, he was the second son of the 12 children of William and Annie (nee Mitchell) Freeman.

“He was survived by his widow Ellen Freeman (nee Ray).”

According to the author of Wartime Eastbourne, the late George Humphrey, the attack on Grove Road came on a Friday morning at 11.28am.

Eighteen aircraft are said to have dropped 14 bombs, all of 500KG calibre.

Also killed in that bombing raid was A Leitch, Cecily Ashdown, Emily Simmonds, Lily Hylands, Mary Walters, Mrs J Harries and George Dorman.

Some 33 people were injured.

For information on the Eastbourne Civilian war Memorial appeal visit www.ecwmt.org