Eastbourne 1939 - 1945

part one

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender!"
- Winston Churchill

The town of Eastbourne recieved a serious pounding from German bombs during World War II. However, the grit and determination of those Eastbournians who stayed put and saw the job through from the beginning to the end must be commended. That the men and women who did their everyday job in town in spite of frequent bombing raids, and the business people who tried to keep their business running, (and Heaven knows it was a struggle), and all those men and women who just carried on, must be admired!
Let's see some random views now of what happened to Eastbourne between 1939 and 1945!

War Reserve Constables gather household belongings for collection by their owners, at the site of blast damage in Longstone Road on September 14, 1940.
At far right is Pauline's grandfather, Albert Edward Wilson.

This photo was kindly provided by Beckett Newspapers.




This was Mansfields's Garage!

The Goffs
October 25, 1940

At 4:17 pm a formation of enemy aircraft was intercepted by our fighters at a great height over the town, but not before 12 bombs were dropped across town.

6 injured.




Channel View Road
May 24, 1941:

At 6:30 pm a single low flying plane dropped four H.E. bombs in Churchdale Road and Channel View Road areas. More than one family of our Bonifaces lived on Channel View Road.
16 houses severely damaged
15 injured

also hit June 6, 1943:
7 dead 43 injured

St. John's, Meads
May 4, 1942, 1:52 pm

The raiders on the attack used their machine guns freely. Fishermen in a small boat were gunned as the raiders flew out to sea.

One man was severely injured.





St. John's, Meads
(same attack as above)

This church had been one attended by the Bonifaces, and our family records perished.

December 8 , 1942, 1:52 pm
A week to Christmas and the streets crowded with shoppers. The warning sounded, then a Dornier 217 swooped to a very low level (in more ways than one) and dropped four large H.E. bombs in close pattern. Marks & Spencer's and three other stores came crashing down as a result of direct hits, and buried many people under tons of debris.
Eighteen dead and 37 Injured.


"Darkness must descend upon the Earth"

Effective when war was declared, a black-out is in effect in Eastbourne:

June 17, 1940: "Eastbourne" is blotted out - removed from vans, hoardings etc.
July 3, 1940: the first air raid takes place on Eastbourne. No targets hit.
July 7, 1940: the first casualties; 2 dead, 22 injured, 9 houses demolished, 60 severely damaged.
July 21, 1940: over 3,000 children evacuated to Hartfordshire & Bedfordshire.
August 8, 1940: The Battle of Britain begins.

Please visit these other accompanying pages:

Eastbourne 1939 - 1940 part TWO . part THREE . Eastbourne ROLL OF HONOUR . SUMMARY


WebSite designed by Dover Studio ©2003-2005 All Rights Reserved
Visit: www.doverstudio.net ...Contact: info@doverstudio.net

No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission from the author. ©2003-2005