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Old 18-01-2013, 06:10 PM
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Default WW2 Defensive Structures

I've started this thread to bring together images and any information on WW2 Defensive structures in our area.


I'll put them all in a gallery when we get enough.

Wikipedia has a good page on 'types' of pillboxes.


And a survey was done in recent years but doesn't record everything around here. http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/.../dob/index.cfm


The 6 inch naval guns at Wellhaugh were manned by 313 Battery of the 510 Coastal Regiment Royal Artillery. The war diaries for this regiment are at the National Archives. They might contain some info and possibly some sketch plans. If I'm down there this year I'll have a look.

Nothing left of that gun emplacement bar a couple of concrete floors. If I recall correctly this slab lay in front of the aperture of the structure so the guns would project over this out to sea.

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Old 18-01-2013, 09:45 PM
janwhin janwhin is offline
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A good piece of work to come.
Isn't it always the case that you wish you'd listened more and asked the right questions when you had the chance. When my dad joined up in 1940 he went into a Heavy Anti Aircraft Unit in the RA. For the first couple of years he was based at Lobley Hill in Gateshead and then at Willington to protect the Tyne.
After that he was moved south, Salisbury and Brighton, training for the invasion. His unit then went into Normandy with the heavy weaponry after D Day. I've got a photo somewhere of the gun crew, I'll have to post it.
One of the useful things I did do, was to send for his army records, and his brother's too. Fascinating documents. He was put on a charge in November 1945 for being "improperly in possession of a tin of pork luncheon meat, the property of the WO." For anyone that knew him, that would be no surprise, full of mischief
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Old 19-01-2013, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
my dad joined up in 1940 he went into a Heavy Anti Aircraft Unit in the RA. For the first couple of years he was based at Lobley Hill in Gateshead and then at Willington to protect the Tyne.

and a very exciting experience to bring such a gun in to action in anger which I think he would have done frequently. (from my safe post WW2 view!)
they're things of beauty, life savers, as are the men that crewed them.

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Old 19-01-2013, 11:27 AM
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It's difficult to find decent pictures of ww2 coastal batteries. Thought there would loads of that sort of stuff online.

Did find one here :
(bottom of the page)

http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/in...p?topic=8936.0

I guess ours would be similar


Note the observation post. Perhaps the purpose of our concrete platform a few hundred metres south of the Wellhaugh gun position?
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Old 19-01-2013, 11:37 AM
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There's a mysterious concrete platform eroding out of the dunes a hundred metres to the north side of the Wellhaugh gun position as well.

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Old 19-01-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janwhin View Post
His unit then went into Normandy with the heavy weaponry after D Day. I've got a photo somewhere of the gun crew, I'll have to post it.
Here is the photograph of the gun team on tour. It is taken at South Beveland, the Netherlands in 1945. The 146 HAA, with their hits on the gun barrel. They were on their way into Germany, sadly finding their way to Bergen Belsen, and guarding SS prisoners.
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File Type: jpg Gun Team April 1945.jpg (62.8 KB, 33 views)
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Old 19-01-2013, 08:36 PM
Derilda Derilda is offline
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Cool WW 2 re-emergence

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There's a mysterious concrete platform eroding out of the dunes a hundred metres to the north side of the Wellhaugh gun position as well.

Interesting photograph Coquet. There may be many more constructions that still lie buried. The Home Guard had a section nicknamed 'The Secret Army'. They had a section which was very active in Amble and district.Made up of young men who, because they were deferred from Call-up because they worked in the coal mines and were well versed in handling dynamite, they were ideal as a back-up force for the Armed Forces if Britain had been invaded. As these men were miners does it follow that some constructions were built 'Out of Sight' in areas often used by the public and yet hidden from view?
I have a Army Issue Ordnance Survey map of Amble and District, which I have pored over often but, alas, no secret traces anywhere, a Army Issue compass and discharge papers of my uncle, who was a member of this squad. I knew he was in the Home Guard because he had a uniform but he never spoke of what he had been trained to do if invasion came. I found the bits and bobs when I cleared his bungalow after he died. According to a TV programme I saw later, these squads were formed throughout the country and, with local knowledge, would have been ideal for acts of sabotage and despatching collaborators. They worked thier normal shifts then trained afterwards. I am told there may be a remnant of a meeting point in Chevington Woods but cannot confirm this. It makes sense that there would be a well hidden accommodation for them somewhere. They wouldn't just go and destroy bridges etc then return home, or back to the pit, once the invasion was on, would they?
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Old 21-01-2013, 12:09 PM
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It is intriguing that there were secret meeting places out there for the home guard. Your argument does make sense though, and official paper records would be a no-no.
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Old 21-01-2013, 01:24 PM
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There is a website devoted to recording evidence of the "Auxiliary Units" formed in World War 2, and a section dealing with Northumberland. http://www.coleshillhouse.com/acklin...liary-unit.php
There was an Acklington cell based on Chevington Woods and some of its members were: Len Crackett, Jimmy Jobson, Harry Moscrop, JT Dalby, R Scott, TG Simpson, AE Smith.
Apparently these resistance groups were primarily set up on the east coast and the north east England one was, for a time, led by the actor Anthony Quayle.
The Evening Chronicle did an article on them way back in 1968 and the Northumbrian magazine has done some articles recently.

Last edited by Coquet; 10-02-2013 at 01:22 PM. Reason: repair link
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Old 21-01-2013, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Auxiliary Units

Thanks janwhin.
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Old 21-01-2013, 04:14 PM
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I don't know whether you get the Northumbrian Magazine, Derilda, but following an article which appeared in Issue 126 about the Home Guard, the "Northumberland County Information Officer" for the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) sent in a letter about the work they're doing researching the Units and locating their operational bases. They're hoping eventually to get recognition for the men involved in the units. He's still after info about both the Home Guard and the members of the Auxiliary Units. He is called Stephen Lewins of Green Lane, Morpeth.
Fascinating stuff.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:37 PM
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This map shows the Wellhaugh area buildings, plus buildings on the lord Mayors field. I assume the PoW camp?

Lots of other interesting stuff. Says published 1954 but some of the map data goes back to the 1920s according to the notes at the bottom.

http://maps.nls.uk/os/25k-gb-1937-61...5217&layers=BT


lots more on this site:

http://www.oldmapsonline.org/#bbox=-...00&dateto=2010
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:46 PM
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When you look around the beach there's lots of WW2 Concrete and brickwork. Here's some interesting curved walls at Wellhaugh, now in bits. Big jigsaw puzzle?





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Old 05-02-2013, 05:49 PM
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part of something like this?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pi...reton_Ford.jpg


or just a septic tank !
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:57 PM
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more at Wellhaugh.

another one of those large circular discs.

all very mysterious.


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Old 05-02-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Lord Mayors Field.

Contrary to popular belief it wasn't a POW camp but they were actually displaced persons, mainly Russian or Eastern Europeans who went back within a fairly short time after the war. They were noted locally for their expertise in making toys, jewelery out of coins etc and supplied many a local child with something for christmas at a time when we could get "nowt".
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:55 PM
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Hi Alan, you are of course right. I believe they were the Polish Army in Exile forces that did not want to go back to Poland after WW2 due to it falling under Soviet influence.

I think there were many camps across the UK with hundreds of thousands of men. It was a bit of a 'problem' for the UK Government I bet.

After fighting and winning the war I bet the Poles were sick at that time with the way things turned out for them.


Most unfortunate.
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Old 06-02-2013, 10:58 AM
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I wonder if they had restrictions on their movement about the town?
If so perhaps that is where the PoW rumour came from, maybe they felt like prisoners
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:48 AM
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My sisters cetainly talked about there being Russians and Mongolians in the camp.
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:08 PM
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Default Lord Mayors Camp.

I don't think they had general access to the town but obviously there was contact as they were making pocket money with the toys etc. You have to remember they were in a pretty isolated place, the nearest house was Teddy Rolands place besides the cemetery house, no Links Ave., no bungalows or schools.
I think the public may have gone down there to do the deals and pick up the goods afterwards.
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