Bob Champion, seen here in a recent photo with his dear wife Jess
Bob remembers:           
 
 
Bob remembers: 
"At the time of the Doodlebug era, I was 15 or 16, living in Battle, and was employed by a local firm of Joinery Manufacturers, who had premises in the Station Yard.
With three other men, I was working at the old Bus Depot in Bulverhythe, St. Leonards on Sea which had been requisitioned by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps for use as a workshop.
The building was quite large, and the roof was of two gables with a valley between, the ridges on each gable had glass about 8 feet long both sides, and our work entailed blacking out the windows with movable shutters so that the Army mechanics could work at night.
On the day in question. I had come down from the scaffolding to go to the toilet, which was outside the main building. I had just reached the entrance when I heard a loud buzzing, and looking up saw this D-bug coming straight toward me, and very low. I was transfixed, and unable to move. Then to my horror it flew between the two gables in the valley, and it wasn`t until much later that I realised if it had been a few yards to the left or right, it would have hit the building, and exploded immediately above me, and I wouldn`t be here to tell the tale.
After a few seconds elapsed, it exploded on the bank at Harley Shute, about a 100 yards or so away, and I believe demolished a couple of houses.
In the Depot, all the glass in the roof shattered and rained down on the soldiers working below causing a number of casualties from the flying glass, and some were struck by the heavy lead glazing bars, luckily there weren`t any fatalities. The incident made such an impression on me that I can still picture it clearly, even to this
day." 

Bob's Doodlebug


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Last Updated 2015