LETTER: Have you got any shrapnel?

We have recently acquired an inert World War Two German bomb case that was dropped on Eastbourne during the Blitz.

The information we have is that the bomb fell on a pub and that the bomb was displayed inside the pub for many years after the war.

With the help of a book “Wartime Eastbourne” by George Humphrey we have found reference of an unexploded bomb that was dropped on Eastbourne on Friday 22nd November 1940 when a lone German Dornier 17 bomber emerged from low cloud and dropped a long stick of bombs from the railway station to the beach near the Central Bandstand.

This raid became known as “The Pub Crawl” because the first obvious damage was to the Gildredge Hotel, while a damaged bomb ended up literally stuck through a panel of the door of the saloon bar of the Cavendish Hotel and failed to explode.

The photograph from the above book is of the same type and thus fits in perfectly with the provenance we have with the bomb case.

The case itself is an early dated Sd 50 kg and is dated 1938 with the Luftwaffe acceptance stamp clearly visible, generally the early dated bombs were used up during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz of 1940 so again this fits in with our story.

There is evidence of drop damage with deep score marks in the steel casing.

During this raid Mrs M.A. Graham was killed and ten people were injured.

The bomb that was lodged in the door panel of the Cavendish Hotel would have been defused by Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal and it is quite likely the case could have been displayed inside the pub by the bar maybe in exchange for a few pints!

Could any of your readers recall the bomb on display in the pub?

Can anyone tell us anymore about the incident.

This bomb case will become the centre piece to a new display in our museum titled “Eastbourne – the most raided town of the South East”.

If any of your readers have any other material such as shrapnel or any other artefacts from the Blitz we would love to hear from them.

Daniel Hunt

Curator - Wings Museum. Em info @wingsmusum.co.uk