Welcome to this blog which is intended to accompany a website on how Suffolk was defended during the Second War. The blog will describe my trips out and about looking for the remains of the Second War defences while the Website will concentrate on putting these into context.

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Sunday, 7 February 2010

Westleton again!

Sun Feb 7th.
Hopefully you are not too bored reading about holes in the ground at Westleton. But there is another point to this blog. We all know that even today, pillboxes are often regarded as 'eyesores' and are still being demolished to make way for development, but what about earthworks? Most, if not all surviving earthworks on the Suffolk Coast today are on nature reserves. I know that every care is taken to avoid damage to earthworks. This is easy for obvious works such as anti-landing ditches. But many earthworks today remain only as shallow depressions (esp weapons-pits / slit trenches etc) and are not at all obvious. The biggest threat to such remains is heathland restoration which often involves large scale scrub clearance and litter stripping. The area I visited today had recently had scrub cleared with the brash chipped. I am sure some earth works will have been 'lost' due to this. At the same time it was obvious that work had avoided the most obvious remaining earthworks. I am in noway arguing against heathland restoration - we have lost the vast majority of the 'Suffolk Sandlings' in the last 100 yrs and it is vital to protect the remaining fragments. Hopefully then, this project, recording such earthworks (even works dug for training purposes) may be of value. Works recorded today included four large pits (purpose unknown), a section of trench (crawl trench?) and several weapons-pits and weapons-slits.
I also found two fragments of a large mortar round. Have not identified them yet. The ignition cartridge on one had an ICI badge, the number 12 and Kynoch stamped on it.
Top  - part of trench recorded today. It could be an in-filled slit trench or a crawl trench.
Middle top - large pit
Middle bottom - fragments of large mortar
Bottom - map of features recorded today

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