The Germans Bombed Bepton during the War!

German Bomber Sussex

Bomb Crater in a Bepton Garden

I recently discovered that our neighbour’s garden pond is in fact an old bomb crater dating back to the Second World War! It’s quite extraordinary to think that Bepton was a target for the Luftwaffe so I did a bit of research to find out what happened…

I came across a publication  called ‘Bombers over Sussex 1943–1945’ by Pat Burgess and Andy Saunders which gives some details of what happened:

“On 4th October 1943, eighteen high explosive bombs were dropped on Bepton shortly after 11pm. Damage was caused at Upper Farm House, Manor Farm and Elsted Railway Station and eleven houses and farm buildings were damaged also. The only casualties were one horse and two cows killed, most of the bombs falling harmlessly in open country or woodland.”

I couldn’t find any good reason for why these German bombs fell on our quiet corner of West Sussex. There were a number of World War II airfields and installations in the local area that were possibly the intended target. More likely however is that this was another German bomber that didn’t reach London, Portsmouth or Southampton that turned tail and unloaded its bomb bays randomly on the English countryside as it headed back home.

If anyone knows any more about Bepton during the war please get in touch.

Photo from Flickr Creative Commons © Thomas Redican

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