Una Wilson

Memories of WW2 from Brighton resident Una Wilson.

Born in 1922, Una Wilson and her family moved to Woodingdean in 1931. Her father ran an exhibition of architectural models at the Royal Pavilion.

On leaving school, Una was invited by the Brighton Corporation to train and join a team of tractor drivers to clear areas of Brighton for agricultural use during the war and later they were incorporated into the Land Army. Una also volunteered as an ambulance driver. She lived in Woodingdean throughout the war and was very active in local drama at the Little Theatre.

Home Guard

Brighton Corporation

Land Army


Ambulance Driver

Bomb Attack



Friendship Card

We can’t celebrate the anniversary of VE Day with our best friends in person at the moment, so why not make a fun pop-up card and give it to someone special?

This tutorial will show you how to create a simple pop up mechanism that can be used over and over to surprise your friends and family.

Download the PDF for more detail.

This activity is suitable for children over 6. Younger children will need an adult helper.

Friendship Beads

We can’t celebrate the anniversary of VE Day with our best friends in person right now, so let’s make friendship bracelets to give them when we see them again!

Making your own beads is easy and fun and this tutorial will get you up and running using things you have around the house.

Download the PDF for more details.

Suggested age: 6+, younger children will need help with cutting and gluing.

Tony Simmonds

Memories of wartime Brighton from Tony Simmonds, who grew up in the town.

Page from Tony’s WW2 diary

Born in 1929, Tony was living in Winchester with his family at the beginning of the war before moving to the Kemp Town area of Brighton in 1942. He attended Xaverian College in Brighton until leaving in 1944 to become a clerk at Lloyds Bank for the remaining years of the war.


Home Guard

Beach Defences

Air Raids at Home

Air Raids at School

Air Raids in Kemp Town

Invasion Precautions


War Bride


D Day

VE Night

Last Months of the War

More information



Cut-out Paper Land Girl

Many young women supported the war by joining the Women’s Land Army. As many agricultural labourers enlisted in the army, these Land Girls ensured that Britain could still produce food.

Print out the image below and you can create your own paper Land Girl.

Download instructions

Listen to real Land Girls

To learn more about what it was like to be a real life Land Girl, watch this video.




Air Raid Damage

Over 470 bombs landed on Brighton and Hove, killing over 200 people.

Although the effects of German air raids were reported, security restrictions meant that the precise locations could often not be published. As a result, we cannot confirm the locations of many of these photographs.

Seafront Defences

After the surrender of France in June 1940, the south coast of England became a potential frontline against a German invasion. Brighton’s beaches closed at 5pm on 2 July, and barbed wire and barricades were erected across the front.

Many of these photographs were taken at the end of the war to document the defences before their removal.