Bobby’s nostalgia spread recalls a poignant tale from the war
From: Alan CooperBakers Farm Park Upper Horsebridge Hailsham
Seeing the picture of the bombed Bobby’s Store in the Herald last Friday reminded of a lady that was killed when the store was bombed on the October 8, 1940.
Leading Aircraftwoman Carol Winifred Lawley had joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force in September 1939, and on the 1 June 1940 was posted to RAF Kenley.
On the October 8 1940 she came to Eastbourne on leave and was met at the railway station by her mother-in-law as they made their way through the town they stopped at Bobby’s.
At that moment a German aircraft dropped a bomb upon which Carol threw her mother -in-law down and fell on top of her.
She was badly hurt by shrapnel, but her mother -law- unhurt.
Sadly the next day she died of her injuries and was buried in Ocklynge Cemetery where today there is a very ornate memorial to her life.
Her husband Kenneth Lawley who came from Eastbourne was a Sgt Air Observer in the RAF and flying with 413 Squadron when on October 22, only two weeks after his wife died, he went on a mission to Norway and failed to return.
Only one body of his crew, the pilot, was found.
He was 28 and she 37 also it was at the time of her death she was pregnant.
It would have been the practice then for her to have left the services.
Every time I have gone past the former Bobby’s and now Debenhams which has also now sadly gone I think of her having come home on leave for a few days and dying in such a way.