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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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Freiston Shore Battery

Last week I was up in Lincolnshire on a work related trip and managed a quick 15 mins to visit the Emergency Coastal Battery at Freiston. This battery was manned by 321 Coast Battery. This is arguably one of the best surviving Emergency Coastal Batteries  in Britain. The two holdfasts for the 6" Mk VII guns are still in place as is the overhead cover of the gun emplacements and both Coastal Artillery Searchlight Emplacements. The battery sits on top of a seawall, although post war  reclamation of salt marsh means the seawall the battery sits upon is no longer on the shore line. Other buildings associated with the battery can be found on the rear side of the embankment.

Above: The two gun emplacements. Bottom image shows one of the holdfasts for the 6" guns.
According to William Foot (Defended England 1940), the emplacements had been disguised by adding pitched roofs to their tops so they looked like houses. This camouflage was still in place into the mid 1950's. Loopholed blast walls can be seen protecting the rear of the emplacements.

Above: Top image shows one of the Searchlight Emplacements. Next three images show a so called Lincolnshire-type three-bay pillbox for local defence of the battery. The pillbox consists of two infantry chambers with an open emplacement in the middle with a mount for a light machine gun to act in an anti-aircraft role. William Foot notes that the pillboxes in this area had been darkened with mud to hide the sheen from the concrete and earth and grass had been applied to break up their outlines. Bottom image shows the interior of one of the infantry chambers showing concrete weapons shelves. I don't know the purpose of the four pieces of angle iron protruding from the wall around each embrasure. 

Above: some of the buildings to the rear of the gun emplacements. Top image is I think the ammunition stores. Second down is probably some sort of crew shelter (note the fire place in the interior shown in the third image). Bottom two images show graffiti dating from the war in the interior of the crew shelter - can you pick out the drawing of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the forth image!!

Last image shows a type 22 at the entrance to the car park at Freiston Shore. The extension to the roof was no doubt to add some sort of anti-aircraft emplacement - I don't know if the walls are hollow and have been filled in (did not have time to figure out a way onto the to). 

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