World War Two: Rottingdean Bombed!


World War Two: Rottingdean Bombed!

About 10.30 am on 18 December 1942 the sirens sounded. The schoolchildren went into the shelter in the playground. After machine gunning streets in Brighton, a German Dornier 217 aircraft dropped its load of 500-pound on Rottingdean prior to returning home. He was shot down three miles off Brighton by a New Zealand pilot who gave chase after he spotted it a few miles south of Brighton.

The first bomb scored a direct hit on St Margaret’s flats. Fortunately, most of the flats were unoccupied but there were a few slight injuries. The bomb hit the water tanks causing the water to run down The Gap to the beach and the bomb finally lodged in the lift shaft. As a consequence, some of the upper part of the building had to be demolished.

PC Harold Stone was on traffic duty at the crossroads and guiding people to safety when he was struck and later died from his injuries.

In the High Street there was much shop glass broken and stock strewn everywhere.

The next bomb had a less dramatic effect, landing in the garden of the Tudor Close Hotel. The final bomb which had impact on property fell on St Aubyn’s School Playing Field, demolishing The Vicarage in Steyning Road while the Vicar, Rev. White, was shopping with his wife in Brighton. Only the maid was at home. Scratched and shaken, she and the Vicar’s pet Sealyham Terrier were rescued by ARP workers. Sir Roderick and Lady Jones were able to accommodate the Vicar and his wife at The Elms.

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Tel: 01273 301004

Rottingdean Heritage, The Green, 
Rottingdean, East Sussex, BN2 7HA
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