Tragedy on the Home Front

Ida Hegarty Witnesses a Wartime Horror in Hangleton, East Sussex

By Peter J Stoker

Photo:Ida Hegarty on the right hand side of photo

Ida Hegarty on the right hand side of photo

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Miriam and Ida at a St Richards reminiscence session

Miriam and Ida at a St Richards reminiscence session

Photo from WRVs Heritage Plus Archive

We used to have two or three gasometers on Church Road. My father was a coal man up this area, working for Shelley's.  I lived on Egmont Road in Knoll, then Stapely Road, then we moved to Hangleton, near Brighton.

Danger UXB!

The Egmont Road property was a council house; my brother was born there making 14 of us in all! We used to sleep horizontally in the bed to fit us all in and there were still outside toilets back then. During the war there was a major drama when an unexploded bomb was found in the next door neighbour, Mrs Burgess's house in Egmont Road.  So then we moved to a bigger house on Stapely Road. First to number 29 but then the government wanted it for a rest home, so we moved to 28 Stapely Road on the other side of the street. Later I lived in 10 Steyning Avenue, then 3 Steyning Avenue, both in Hangleton.

A terrible wartime tragedy

I remember there was a big bomb on Olive Road by the council offices during the war. We went to school on Portland Road in West Hove. One day three planes came over and they were machine gunning the kids coming out of school.  There was a woman who'd been trying for a baby for ages and finally had one. She was on the road with the baby carriage and one of the machine gun bullets went into the pram and killed the baby. Hangleton Road used to be the ack-ack (anti-aircraft guns) place. Once a barrage balloon came loose and the army was trying to shoot it down so the planes didn't get tangled up in it.

This page was added by Peter J Stoker on 06/02/2008.

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