Bournemouth at War
Series: At War
- John Needham
15th January 2024
Bournemouth was originally a deserted heathland on England’s south coast until the area was developed as a health resort in the early nineteenth century. The town grew rapidly in size and by 1900 Bournemouth was firmly established as a popular tourist destination and a fashionable home by the sea with grand hotels, gardens, a concert hall and a host of other cultural and entertainment venues. During the Second World War Bournemouth was a direct target, with aerial bombing raids destroying many homes and familiar buildings with a significant loss of life. The seafront was fortified and the beach mined and covered with obstacles as it was a possible target of invasion, and many iron structures were dismantled for the war effort. Communities learned to deal with rationing, air raids and large numbers of evacuees. The war had a devastating effect on local communities through the loss of life, the destruction of familiar places, the movement of people and the hardships experienced at home, but it was also a time of courage and fortitude in an effort to continue with everyday life. In this book, local historian and author John Needham has captured the tribulations of the times in words and pictures, telling the stories of many local men, women and children during this trying period.
Bournemouth at War pays tribute to the people of this town who served, died and lived through the Second World War, and how they managed to endure in the face of the horrors of conflict.