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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Monday, 27 June 2011

Bawdsey Beach - a pillbox lost due to coastal erosion

It is fascinating to visit this beach each year as coastal erosion is so fast. I decided to spend today, the last of a few days off work, in this area, in the hope of a cool coastal breeze to find some relief from the sweltering heat if nothing else. I also wanted to check the beach for any other signs of anti-invasion defences exposed due to erosion (i.e. dragons teeth, scaffolding etc) but got more than I bargained for! 

The amount of beach lost in a year was quite amazing, taking with it a First War Pillbox that was several metres from the cliff top when I photographed it last May. This pillbox was incorporated into the Second War anti-invasion defences as two Turnbull mounts for light machine guns had been erected in its embrasures. There is a unique one-off designed Second War pillbox just to the south (a combined Type 22 and 23) - how much longer has this got?

Another pillbox, a Second War Type 22,  is fast becoming buried in shingle.

A lot more anti-boat scaffolding was in evidence on the beach, no doubt the remains of that still situated in shingle which I also photographed last May.

Also found what looks like a small iron cannon ball - possibly grapeshot dating from the Napoleonic era - well you never know, what with their being a Martello Tower nearby!

You can look up the full posts of this area last Apr/May on the blog for more pics of the beach as it was then!  

Image 1 & 2: Circular WW1 Pillbox that has sadly fallen off the cliff
Image 3: The same pillbox as above photographed in May 2010.
Image 4 & 5: Type 22 slowly becoming buried in shingle. 
Image 6: The same pillbox photographed in 2009 (note the chip off the roof if you don't believe me!)
Image 7: Remains of anti-boat scaffolding
Image 8: What I presume is the remains of the above scaffolding still situated in shingle in 2010.
Image 9: Unique example of a combined Type 22 & 23 but for how much longer?
Image 10: Napoleonic grapeshot??
Image 11: Some of the numerous swallows and martins breeding in the remains of pillboxes/coastal defence battery in this area!

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