THE violent side of war was brought home to Worthing with a bang in August, 1942, when a bomb-laden German Heinkel 111 crashed into a doctor’s house in Lyndhurst Road, killing three men in a neighbouring house when the bomber exploded.
Two women members of the woman doctor’s domestic staff had miraculous escapes from death when they jumped from an upper window of the doctor’s blazing home. They escaped injury because soldiers were waiting below to catch them when they fell.
The remains of three Luftwaffe airmen were recovered from the wreckage.
It seems the plane’s engines had stopped after being hit, and the aircraft narrowly missed the roof of Worthing Hospital before ricocheting off other roofs in the vicinity prior to crashing.
Other items which made the news in the Herald of August 14, 1942, included.
l Worthing Education Committee’s experiment of keeping town schools open for mornings only during the August holidays was pronounced a failure.
Only a small number of children attended the schools for recreational purposes in the mornings, so it was decided to end these sessions. But children could still go to the schools nearest their homes for the usual distribution of milk.
l Wolf Cubs in Storrington launched a mass attack on cabbage butterflies! A woman was offering them a shilling (5p) for every hundred collected, and several hundred were soon handed in. “The Cubs don’t have much time to get into mischief,” the woman told the Herald.
l Bill Fraser, a pre-war joint owner of Worthing’s Connaught Theatre, married one of the theatre’s former leading ladies, Rosemary (Betty) Bowden, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Bill Fraser was serving in the RAF at the time, and the present “Fraser’s Bar” in the Connaught is named after him.
l About 1,000 tons of Worthing’s metal railings were due to be torn down for the war effort. Railings from corporation parks and bowling greens, Denton Gardens, Steyne Gardens and Marine Gardens were all on the schedule.
Private homes were also on the list, and absent residents who came home to find their domestic ironwork missing were assured that any damage done had to be made good at the contractor’s expense.
l Worthing’s British Restaurants were celebrating their first birthday. The three restaurants had served an average of 400 meals a day, and up to May they had provided no fewer than 150,000 dinners.