Bombed in 1940
On Friday 20th September 1940, The Lewes Road Inn, was completely demolished as the result of a direct hit in a ‘hit and run’ raid by the German bombers on Brighton. There were several casualties, some of which were fatal.
Pub dog survived
As rescuers fought their way through the wreckage of the inn, they heard the landlord Ernest Scully, calling. He was trapped with his wife and their dog. The rescuers talked to the landlord as they continued to drag away the debris. After searching for three hours they found Ernest and his wife Rosina; unfortunately they were both dead. Ironically their dog, a small white terrier, was found unhurt in the wreckage.
Window cleaner killed
As they continued to search for survivors, the rescuers heard cries coming from another area. A volunteer crawled through the wreckage of the saloon bar and found three people in the cellar, sadly not all of them survived. One of those killed was a window cleaner who had been passing the pub on his cycle at the time of the bombing.
Betty Marchant, a popular barmaid at the inn, was rescued four hours after the bombing. She had been serving behind the bar at the time of the bombing, and dropped to the floor. Luckily, the bar collapsed over her and protected her from more falling debris. Although badly injured, she remained conscious and talked to her rescuers as they worked to free her.
The inn was rebuilt as The Lewes Road Inn, but was later renamed the Franklin Tavern.