HASTINGS & ST LEONARDS IN THE WAR. Updated.

We have been given exclusive permission to publish a batch of photos showing bomb damage over the borough during WWll.

These photo’s were taken by an Air Raid Warden during the last conflict, with authorisation by the MOD for their own use,

and also for special Warden training purposes.

All these were all taken from glass slides.

These would have not been seen by the general public until years after!

 

Bombs that had landed in Hastings over 4 years.

 

 

Albany Hotel.

 

1940 August 14th. Bexleigh Avenue, a lone German raider came in from the sea and dropped bombs here.

 

Bexhill Rd Vl Flying bomb. Workmen trying to at least making the roof semi water tight even if the windows are blown in!

 

1944. Anti aircraft guns at Grosvenor Gardens St Leonards.

 

Emmanuel church on the West Hill.

 

Gladstone Terrace.

 

Hillside Ave. Quite a few of the roads have since disappeared since the war.

 

Holmsdale Gardens.

 

In the grounds of the Royal East Sussex Hospital Cambridge Road.

 

Unfortunately, an unknown location.

 

Here we are again at another unknown location.

 

Lewcocks Restaurant corner of Harold Place and Denmark Place.

 

Linton Road.

 

A ‘looters warning’.

 

Norman Road.

 

Plaza Town Centre.

 

Priory Road School.

 

Royal East Sussex Hospital.

 

St Johns Church, Pevensey Road.

 

St Johns Church, Pevensey Road, the tower still stands whilst the main chancel has been devastated!

 

St Leonards Parish Church after the big clear up. The flying bomb veered off course hitting other buildings on its decent, but landed and exploded in the doorway of the Church. Buildings on both sides were demolished by the blast too.

 

Wallingers House.

 

Warrior Square east side.

 

Warrior Square on the west side.

 

Sweeping the pavements of all the broken glass at White Rock, June 1944.

 

Yet again another direct hit on someone property at White Rock.

 

War week parade passing into Eversfield Place. May 1941.

 

Wardens Party, after all they did their bit too!

 

On the lookout over the sea. Gun operator and ‘Observers’.

 

Sydney Oak one of the more senior rescuers with the ARP.

 

One of the many ladies that served with the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) and CD (Civil Defence) wardens.

 

Mr. H.Cove, Warden.

 

G.Tyler warden 1940.

 

G.Tyler, warden at his home.

 

G.Tyler Warden.  This is the gent that took all the pictures you have just seen.

 

Duchess of Kent visits the local Civil Defence volunteers at Hastings. 1941.

 

Our sincere thanks must go to Mr. Rick Moye who kindly donated the pictures for you all to see here.

 

Albany Hotel.

 

Alma Terrace.

 

Alma Villas.

 

Battle Road.

 

Battle Road. The bomb went straight through the wall and didn’t explode!

 

Battle Road. And here we have again another bomb that entered the building and failed to detonate!  Up on the wall it looks like a blue flashing Police calling light with a diffuser over it!

 

Bohemia Road.

 

Christ Church Ore.

 

De Cham Road.

 

Denmark Place and what was Lewcocks Restaurant.

 

Filsham Road.

 

Gensing Road.

 

Hastings Railway Station.  The track was repaired and so was the embankment to where a bomb had landed causing all these problems.

 

High Street and Reeves corner.

 

High Street and what was once the Swan Hotel.

 

Holmesdale Gardens, a bomb dropped very near causing immense damage to the fabric of the buildings from the blast.

 

Holmesdale Gardens, Now this might have just been that explosion that caused the damage opposite in the picture above!

 

King Edward Avenue.

 

Junction of London Road and Norman Road, taken from Norman Road west side.

 

Castle Street.

 

Markwick Terrace, a crater in the front shows to where the bomb went off causing only facial damage to the buildings.

 

Moscow Road Ore, yet another building to where the bomb entered the place but failed to properly explode.

 

Old London Road Ore Village, very near to where Winchesters are today.

 

Perth Road (1).

 

Perth Road (2).

 

Pevensey Road.

 

Queens Hotel & the Albany Hotel.

 

Queens Hotel.

 

Salisbury Road.

 

Springfield Road.

 

St Helens Park Road.

 

St Johns Church, Pevensey Road.

 

St Pauls Place.

 

Strood Road.

 

The Uplands.

 

Tower Road.

 

Warrior Square Church.

 

West Ascent.

 

West Hill St Leonards.

 

White Rock Gardens, with a massive crater.

 

Emmanuel Road 1942.

 

The ruins of the Swan Hotel High Street.

 

Grand Parade in c1952, bomb damaged buildings, now replaced with Grand Court flats.

 

A direct hit on the corner of Edmund Road and Alfred Road, c1943.

 

Clyde Road 1941.

 

Adelaide Road after the March 11 1943 attack.

 

Queen’s Road, September 1940.

 

St Georges Road. 1940.

 

St Helens Road (Bottom of Spar Hill). March 11th. 1943.

 

Albion Street

 

Berlin Road.

 

Bomb damage – Wellington Road.

 

Bomb damage after the devastating raid on 24th September – Warrior Square. 1942

 

Bomb damage at White Rock.

 

Bomb damage Whitefriars Road.

 

Boyne Road.

 

Castle Street.

 

Christ Church Ore.

 

Corner of Edmund and Alfred Road.

 

Filsham Road.

 

Gladstone Terrace West Hill.

 

Halton School September 23rd 1940.

 

Havelock Road.

 

Holmesdale Gardens.

 

Municipal hospital.

 

Old London Road ARPs working.

 

Priory Ave.

 

Priory Road.

 

Queens Road – The Bedford public House suffered a direct hit in 1943.

 

Queen’s Road.

 

Remains of the Swan Hotel – Old Town.

 

Reeves corner, High Street.

 

Robertson Terrace and what was the Albany Hotel.

 

St Columba’s Presbyterian Church Warrior Square 17th October 1942

 

OUR APOLOGISES FOR ANY DOUBLES

YOU MAY ENCOUNTER WHEN LOOKING

THROUGH THESE PAGES,

WE TRY TO NOT PUT DOUBLES UP

BUT SOMETIMES THEY ESCAPE US!

 

Some statistics for Hastings & St Leonards,

During the war years.

1940 June – Foreigners were forced to move inland at least 20 miles from the coast, affecting many local businesses. Hastings was included in the ‘defence area’ so no one could enter except on business. All local direction signs were taken down. A house-to-house collection of all scrap metal started. Many London evacuees were moved to Wales. Both Hastings Pier and St Leonards Pier had been requisitioned by military authorities by early 1940, and early that summer each had two sections removed, one near the middle of the pier, and the other adjoining the promenade, in order to stop invading Germans using the piers as landing stages. Summerfields School became the temporary town hall.

1940 July – A night-time curfew was imposed.

1940 July 21 – Three thousand Hastings children were evacuated to Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

1940 July 26 – The first bombs fell on the town, many on the West Hill, when a single raider swept across the town early in the morning and dropped 11 high explosives. There was then a lull, until the ‘Battle of Britain’ started on 14 August, and there many attacks through to November. The mayor set up the Air Raid Distress Fund.

1940 Aug – The Hastings Observer launched an appeal to raise £5,000 to buy a Spitfire; the money was donated within a month.

1940 Sept – The RAF Fairlight radar station became operational. It was located at today’s picnic site, on the north side of Fairlight Road, adjoining Martineau Lane. It was to remain an RAF Domestic Camp (living base) for many years.

1940 Sept 11 – Voluntary evacuation of the town began, and over 20,000 people went. Within days, the population of Hastings had fallen to 22,000 (pre-war it had been 65,000).

1940 Oct 14 – The first anti-aircraft guns were set up in the town.

1941 Dec 8-13 – A Dig for Victory Week exhibition was held at the White Rock Pavilion by Hastings Council in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture to encourage all garden holders to grow food and to recruit an extra allotmenteers in the borough. Similar exhibitions were held each autumn for the next three years, with the 3-day event in 1944 attracting 5,000 people. By June 1942 there were about 500 wartime allotments.

1942 Sept 22 – By this day 2,714 Morrison steel table air raid shelters had been issued to local houses, nearly all of them free of charge.

1943 March 11 – The heaviest attack of the war took place, with much destruction over a wide area caused by about 20 aircraft using machine guns and dropping 25 bombs. There were 39 deaths and 90 people injured. On this day Hastings councillors were told that between 230 and 250 people had slept in St Clements Caves over the last month, but no one was ‘residing’ there.

1943 March 17 – The Hastings fishing boat EVG RX 152 was blown up by a mine picked up in her trawl. Her crew survived. But the three crew of the Boy Billie RX 61 were killed in the fishing fleet’s worst tragedy of the war when the boat was hit by a mine on 10 April 1943.

1943 April – Hastings Council decided to lay on a water supply to all allotment fields to help grow food.

1943 May 23 – In the second heaviest wartime attack, at least 25 people were killed and 85 injured. The Swan Hotel in the High Street and the Albany Hotel in Robertson Terrace were both destroyed.

1944 Feb 4 – Field Marshal Montgomery inspected troops at the Pilot Field in preparation for the D-Day invasion of Europe.

1944 March 7 – The shore-end of St Leonards Pier was seriously damaged by fire, destroying its pavilion and surrounding buildings. It had also suffered gale damage in early February 1943 and was hit by bombs earlier in the war. The pier owners never attempted to restore it and never re-opened after the war.

1944 March 12 – The highly respected local artist E Lelsie Badham was killed when his house in Priory Road, opposite Emmanuel Church, was hit by a high explosive bomb. The last bomb to fall in the town was on 27 March 1944, landing at the bottom of Filsham Road.

1944 June 15 – The first flying bomb was brought down in the Hastings area, east of Glyne Gap. Another 14 flying bombs came down in the area in the following weeks, the last being on 2 August. Most fell on open ground. Five batteries of heavy anti-aircraft guns were set up, including at Sea Road, the Oval and the East and West Hills. One of the Auxiliary Territorial Service officers at the West Hill battery was Mary Churchill, daughter of the Prime Minister Winston. St Leonards Parish Church was destroyed on 29 July. One fell on Shearbarn Farm on 20 July, killing the occupant, Miss Ethel Maria Barnes, the last person in the borough to die as a result of enemy action. The last flying bomb incident was on 2 August. The last alert was sounded at 7.15pm on 9 November 1944.

1944 Autumn – Many of the wartime restrictions were lifted. The last alert was sounded on 9 November.

 

Our sincere thanks go to Steve Peak for the use

of reproducing parts of the ‘Hastings Chronicle’.

 

 

This almost completes this series of pictures from

Hastings & St Leonards in the war for now,

but we are always looking out for more!

If you have any photo’s

that we could include in this series,

then please let us know.

Any pictures that you can supply

would be credited to you.

 

Thank you for looking.

 

Thanks to Simon for all his help.

 

©Richard Pollard.co.uk 2018

©richardpollard@aol.com  2018