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, 12 March 2012

Hollesley - 11th Highland Light Infantry and Horse Event!

In 1941 the 11th Highland Light Infantry (15th Division) were tasked with the defence of the Suffolk Coast between Bawdsey and Orford. Battalion HQ and HQ Company were distributed around Hollesley. No 3 Platoon (Mortar), No 4 Platoon (Carrier) and No 5 Platoon (Pioneer) were situated in copses just to the west of Poplar Farm. This Sunday I decided to have a look for any evidence in these copses remaining from the occupation by these platoons. Unfortunately an Equestrian event was also being held in the area during this weekend. I decided to persevere on recoding remains of corrugated  iron, 4" iron pipes etc much to the bemused looks from many horsey people! I also had a continuous commentary of the progress of various horses around the coarse from the loudspeakers (Susie Prank and Bonnie Prince Charlie are two horses I remember for some reason).

Above: The copses in which the HQ Platoons were located in - the cars and horse boxes from the event can be seen on the RHS!

These platoons were no doubt located in the copses as it would provide camouflage from aerial observation. The War Diary does not have any details on the type of accommodation (would troops have been billeted in Hollesley but the Carriers / equipment etc kept under cover in the copses?) but   location statements prove the platoons were here between April and October 1941 at least, so presumably for such a long stay, huts would have been provided. 

The only remains I came across was one screw picket, some corrugated iron sheets, and parts of the water supply or sullage system. Although there was no evidence of any huts etc I did come across some shallow ditches laid out in squares which could have been for draining surface water from the vicinity of huts.

Above: Top photo shows part of shallow ditches laid out in squares - surface drainage for huts etc?
Rest of the photos show either remains of the sullage system or water provision while bottom image shows a solitary screw picket I came across. A lot of angle iron also used in fences in the area - perhaps left overs from the War.

Not the most exciting post I know, but still another little piece of evidence recorded on the ground, and it is always enjoyable to find evidence of details given in War Diaries. Will return for another look at some time when no horses around!

Well, soon off to the First War battle fields in France again, so expect a run of blog posts on this trip when I get back. A new camera to play with as well, but we'll have to wait and see if the pics are any better!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Dave - my uncle was here with the 11th in 1941 and it was interesting to see what was left. Keep up the good work and happy hunting on your next trip