Fascinating photos pulled from The Argus archives show the war effort at home while battles raged across the globe during the Second World War, writes Sam Brooke

The whole of Britain felt the impact of relentless bombing during The Blitz.

But when the first shots of the Second World War rang out in 1939 tensions were particularly high in Brighton.

As the Nazis rampaged through France, fears of an invasion on Sussex’s shores spread.

So Brighton hunkered down and prepared for war.

These photos from The Argus during the Second World War are now stored in The Keep in Falmer.

They show a town preparing for the worst, though the people in the pictures remained in good spirits.

Gas attack drills, Home Guard marches, and air raid shelters became the daily norm.

The Level became a hive of activity as workers dug trenches.

Meanwhile listening posts were set up on the South Downs ready to intercept Nazi communications.

Once the brutal bombing of The Blitz began in summer 1940, drastic measures were taken.

Brighton’s beaches were closed, mined, and guarded with barbed wire.

Most famously decking was removed from the Palace Pier and the West Pier to prevent planes landing on them.

Between July 1940 and February 1944, German bombers targeted Brighton 56 times.

Almost 200 people were killed and tens of thousands were evacuated out to the countryside.

In one particularly bloody raid in September 1940, a Dornier bomber dropped 20 explosives on Kemp Town, killing 56 people.

Two bombs hit the nearby Odeon cinema, killing four children and two adults.

In 1943, a squadron of Focke-Wulf bombers swarmed over Brighton.

The planes dropped 22 bombs and targeted streets with their machine guns, killing 24 people and making another 500 homeless.

Despite the tragedies, Brighton endured the war.

These photos are just some of many in The Keep showing a town preparing for the worst.

A spokeswoman said similar photos are available at the Falmer record office.

“The photographs are part of a wider collection dating from 1930 to 1960,” she said.

“Many of them have been digitised and can be viewed on computers at The Keep, reference ARG/3.

“If you’d like to see more, visit the archive and have a browse.

“The Keep is open to anyone with an interest in local, social or family history.

“You don’t need an appointment or any particular expertise.

“For opening hours, directions and further information, visit www.thekeep.info.”