Service to remember the town’s firefighters

Eastbourne Fire Station. 20th Oct 2010 E42104L
Eastbourne Fire Station. 20th Oct 2010 E42104L

Eastbourne firefighters will stand side by side to remember those who lost their lives when the fire station was hit by a wartime bomb 70 years ago.

Seventy years ago a bomb struck at 3pm at the former Central Fire Station, in Grove Road, killing six fire officers.

Mayor of Eastbourne, councillor Mike Thompson, will host the memorial event at Eastbourne Community Fire Station and will be joined by fellow dignitaries on February 7.

They will also be joined by principal officers from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Fire Authority members and ESFRS employees.

Joan Bennett (a former control operator in 1943) and Don Payne (the son of a survivor and grandfather to ESFRS employee Emmy Bastin, who currently works at ESFRS in Health and Safety) will be there to pay their respects. Sadly, survivor Charlie Payne passed away in 1999.

Emmy said, “Obviously, it was a harrowing event for my great granddad to go through and it only seems fitting that I should be there to support my granddad and to pay my respects. I felt very privileged to do so.”

The short service will get underway at 2.30pm, with prayers and a hymn, as well as recognition of the plaque that is currently displayed on the station wall today, followed by the Last Post.

Attendees will then retire to the Town Hall for tea and cakes.