Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Swan Memorial Gardens (photo: © Susan Featherstone (WMR-84453)).

Swan Inn disaster memorial service on Sunday

A service of remembrance will be held this Sunday in memory of the 16 people killed on the same date in 1943 when the Swan Inn in Hastings Old Town took a direct hit, writes the Rev Paul Hunt.

It will be exactly 78 years ago this coming Sunday when the historic Swan Inn, a Hastings landmark since the early 14th century, was destroyed by enemy action. It was around lunchtime on Sunday 23 May that a Luftwaffe raid caused damage and casualties around the town, with 16 people being killed inside the Swan Inn, now the site of a memorial garden opposite St Clement’s church.

The step great-granddaughter of one of the casualties, Thomas Winborne, will be among those attending a short outside service of remembrance close to Swan Gardens at 11.15am this Sunday led by myself, Rev Paul Hunt, and members of the Old Town congregation.

Churchwarden Judy Cubison recalls that two of the victims were family neighbours. “It was all so tragic. Violet Cox and her niece Ann Tester heard the siren and sheltered in the post office passage. But the Swan landlord invited them to shelter in the inn which then received a direct hit. Ann was not much older than my sister who was then only five.”

Members of the public wishing to attend are asked to wear masks and be mindful of social distancing.


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Posted 12:28 Friday, May 21, 2021 In: Local News

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