Hastings suffered a total of 85 discrete bombing raids[a] whether from conventional bombs, the doodlebugs, or German pilots releasing any un-used ordnance on their way back towards the English Channel.The town was also directly under one of the key flight paths from airfields in France (and V2 launch sites) to London. In fact it was said that the Luftwaffe raiders used Marine Court and Christ Church St Leonards as navigation points, the buildings being sufficiently distinctive from the air. This did not, however, spare Marine Court from being bombed as can be seen in the images posted below.Notice of approaching enemy aircraft was provided by means of Air Raid Sirens located at various points around the town.
Clearance of sites
Whilst in many cases the property owner effected repairs, there were a number of larger sites throughout the town that for various reasons were not repaired and in 1947, the council voted that compulsory purchase orders should be sought for the following six sites in order that the borough could put them back into use and improve the outlook for both visitors and residents.
- 32 to 44 Havelock Road and the rear parts of 9 to 12 Middle Street
- 1,9,14 and 16 Caroline Place, 10 to 22, 25 and 32 Castle Street and yards to the rears of 4,6 and 8 Castle Hill Road
- 1 to 5 Denmark Place, 1 and 2 Cobden Houses (Harold Place), 30 to 33 Pelham Street
- 11 to 16 White Rock with cliff land to rear.
- 24 to 27 Grand Parade and properties fronting on to Saxon Street
- 3,5,7,7a, 9 to 12, 13a ,14 and 15 London Road and 25, 27, 28, 30, 31 , 33 and 35 Norman Road
In addition, the council meeting suggested gaining support from the following societies; Civic Society, Chamber of Commerce, Ratepayers Association, Trades and Labour Council, Rotary Club, Hotels and Boarding Houses Association and any other local bodies that may have an interest with a view that a joint meeting be held to discuss proposals and a way forward. Many of the bomb damaged buildings were repaired by the local building firm Eldridge and Cruttenden, among them being the St. Leonards Assembly Rooms (Masonic Hall), damaged in an air raid in 1940, and the Jenny Lind pub.
References & Notes
- Although History of the Second World War, Civil Series, Civil Defence (T.H. O'Brien 1955) asserts only 75 attacks