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, 16 April 2012

Ashby HAA Site

A break from Somme posts - back to WW2. This Sun I had a trip up to see this HAA, seeing I have started to add some AA details to the main website. This site was part of the Yarmouth Gun Defended Area and was established in 1941, first with mobile 3.7" guns but these were soon replaced with statics and  equipped with Gun Laying radar. It was located to the north of Lowestoft, no doubt to protect against any enemy aircraft approaching the town from the north and also probably to protect Fritton  which was I think was used to store Depth Charges by the Navy. It later provided HAA protection for Fritton Lake during 79th Armoured Division's trials with DD Tanks from 1943 onwards.

Above: Ashby HAA site today.

The  site is  typical of the 1941 layout for static HAA sites with both the 1941 gun pit and Command Post designs. Quite a lot of the site still survives today including all four gun pits, the Command Post, hard standings and two BCF Huts from the domestic site. It is really sad to see the site slowly being buried by old straw bails, manure and other farm rubbish. 

First set of images show the Command Post:

Images 1-3: The Command Post
Image 4: Interior of the Post - this is the Plotting Room
Image 5: A room like this is on either side of the Post - the steps lead up to the area where the Predictor, Spotting Scope etc were located.

Next set of images show the gun pits - these are the 1941 design and incorporated shelters for the gun crew.

Image 1: One of the gun pits - the gun was on a mount bolted down in the centre of the pit with surrounding recesses for ammunition storage and two crew shelters
Image 2: Two ammunition lockers (left and right recess) and entrance to one of the crew shelters (centre)
Image 3: Entrance to one of the crew shelters
Image 4: Interior of a crew shelter

The final set of images show what remains of the Domestic camp (accommodation, ablutions etc)

Image 1: BCF Hut
Image 2: BCF Hut - only the frame remains of this one
Image 3: Interior of the better preserved hut
Image 4 &5 : Huts were located along the line of the hedge row and remains of the bases can still be seen. 

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