In this sequel to his colourful account of the early war years in Brighton and Hove, David Rowland takes us from the hardships and bombings of 1942 to the eventual celebrations of peace in 1945. As before, he draws on an impressive photographic archive and the first-hand memories of those who lived through those dramatic days to illustrate the day-to-day experiences of ordinary men and women who displayed a mixture of courage, grit and humour in the face of adversity. These two books (War in the City volumes I and II) together comprise the most detailed account yet published of a conflict which changed many local lives forever.
Excerpt from the book:
"Shortly before 5 o'clock on the very pleasant spring afternoon of Tuesday 9th March, 1943, the air raid sirens sounded the warning of an attack. On this occasion local residents had just about enough time to hurry to their shelters. Shortly after the sirens started the 'pips' were heard, indicating that enemy aircraft were close. Witnesses heard the distinctive engine sounds of German aircraft as four Focker Wulf 190s launched their attack. They came in very low, one just missing the spire of a church in the southern part of the town. They came in from the southeast in two's, line abreast, each of them carrying a 500kg bomb. The pilots waited until the very last moment before releasing their deadly cargo, first softening up the town with canon and machine gun fire.
One aircraft singled out Aldringon railway station, and its bomb scored a hit on the railway lines about 50 yards west of the station. The blast from this bomb damaged the railway station and put the line out of action for about five hours: it was repaired and opened just after 10pm, when normal service was resumed. Although Aldrington Halt railway station suffered some blast damage, the station was skill kept in service. The 'red' alert warning was timed at 4:53pm, and the bombs began to fall one minute later. People in the streets ran for cover as the bullets and canon fire rained down."