Photo of David Rowland

David Rowland

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Update 5th May 2020: Three more books have been added to the website:

  1. Out of the Blue tells the story of Brighton's worst air raid that occurred around 12:30pm on Tuesday 25th May 1943. This book is a detailed record of each bomb that was dropped, and the stories of those affected.
  2. Target Brighton is David's comprehensive account of every single German attack on Brighton from July 1940 until March 1944. This is the definitive guide to life on the home front for all Brightonians whose families were involved in it.
  3. The Brighton Blitz was originally intended as an account of David's own experience of an air raid, but by the time he started writing it he'd ammassed so much information that this book grew become a record of the many attacks on Brighton.

David Rowland recently published The Spirit of Winsome Winn II, about the American B-17 Flying Fortress which limped home from a bombing raid over Germany on just a single engine, flying low over Brighton, with the crew desperately seeking a landing site away from densely-packed housing.

David has had a passionate interest in how World War Two affected Sussex, since his dramatic childhood in Brighton during the war years, which is now partly told through Spitfires over Sussex and War in the City (volumes 1 and 2), all of which use rare photographs, newspaper stories, personal recollections and first-hand experiences to describe those incredible few years and how they affected the coastline towns including Brighton and Newhaven.

Spitfires over Sussex tells the amazing story of 602 squadron based at Tangmere, and how they fought to keep the skies clear of enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain. His recent book Survivors, tells the incredible stories of airmen who were shot down and lived to tell the tale.

David Rowland was four when war broke out on September 3rd, 1939. He still has vivid memories of the nights when Brighton burned, of sleeping in a Morrison shelter, of carrying a gas mask everywhere and of the many evacuations from the classroom to the air raid shelters outside Finsbury Road Junior School. He went on to work at Sainsbury's before and after two year's National Service with the Royal Air Force, and in 1958 he joined the Brighton Borough Police force, where his duties ranged from beat officer to dog handler, patrol car driver and Police Federation official. David retired from the Police in 1985 and rejoined the Newhaven branch of Sainsbury's, and keenly pursues his hobbies of local history, travel and the American West. David would love to hear from anyone who has any wartime memories or stories they would like to share.