New Eastbourne War Memorial lifted into place on seafront

The new Civilian War memorial SUS-180315-124943001
The new Civilian War memorial SUS-180315-124943001

The new Eastbourne civilian war memorial was lifted into place on the seafront this week.

The granite rock, which weighed eight tonnes and came from north Wales, has taken centre stage within a new peace garden which is being constructed to honour the 180 civilians who died in Eastbourne during the Second World War.

It was brought to Eastbourne early on Wednesday morning by Brighton Rock and Reclamation, a Newhaven company, and winched into place.

The civilian war memorial is being paid for through public donations after Eastbourne council knocked down the original memorial – the Wish Tower Cafe and Sun Lounge – when it fell into a bad state of disrepair.

The fundraising appeal is continuing and now the rock itself is in place, a plaque bearing the names of all those who died is the next phase.

The project is the initiative of the Eastbourne Civilian War Memorial Trust which recognised the need for a permanent memorial after the demolition of the cafe and sun lounge in 2012.

The cafe had been built with funding from the Foyle family in memory of local people killed in bombing raids.

With the support of Eastbourne council, the nearby Wish Tower moat was agreed as a suitable site, readily accessible to the public and surrounding an historic defensive icon.

In all, 98 raids took place between 1940 and 1944 with 671 high explosive bombs and 3,600 incendiary bombs falling on the town. Nearly 1,000 people were injured, 443 of them seriously. Some 475 homes were destroyed and 1,000 seriously damaged.

Donations can be sent to Eastbourne Civilian War Memorial Trust, 50 Pashley Road, Eastbourne, BN20 8EA; by bank transfer to Lloyds Bank account 59492360, sort code 30-92- 86; or at www.justgiving.com/eastbournecivilian-warmemorial

Seethe event video at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk