About the book


This book tells the story of a 'front line' town during what were arguably six of the most momentous years in the borough's history.  It shows how Hastings folk coped with the daily wartime hardships of the blackout; rationing; the billeting of evacuees; the evacuation of the town; constant fear of invasion; and the relentless bombing raids, day and night, leaving in their wake a trail of death, destruction and the apprehension of where and when the next attack would come.  

The book incorporates the personal memories of over forty people who experienced life at this arduous time.  John Bristow, describing a raid on 23 May 1943 says, '...There was a god-almighty explosion and we went into the passage by The Havelock pub and we dived onto the ground and lay there looking out before a bomb hit what was the old Royal Oak Hotel.  Along by Woolworth's there was a car going by and it was sent up into the air by the bomb and over and over.  While we lay there, there was another terrific explosion down the side of Plummer's and I'll never forget seeing a huge lump of yellow coloured masonry coming over and land on the tram wires...'

Copyright N. Goodwin MMII