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Monday 14 December 2009

Westleton Common

Mon 14th Dec: Returned to Westleton Common to map the field works I found last month. A search also found some more, including a weapons-pit/gun pit with associated length of slit trench. This area was certainly by 1941 designated a Garrison location, and it was even planned to surround the village with an anti-tank ditch. I'm sure more is to be discovered in this location.
Top left: Slit trench (shell slit) associated with gun pit
Top right: Crawl trench and weapons-pit

Another new pillbox (or whats left of it!)

Sun 13th: Decided to have a look around Stone House, Aldringham today - I already knew of some remains in this area but was intrigued by the location of a road block in the 9th Lancs war diary, which was supposed to be located near  two pillboxes at the junction of the Aldringham-Thorpeness Road and tracks leading to Stone House. On the heath just north of the small car park is a slit trench, probably associated with the road block. Found some pits in the woods around Stone House, which I recorded on the strength of a piece of angle iron by one. Stone House was a battalion HQ in 1940-42 and for 26 Assault Sqn RE, 79th Armd. Division in the build up to D Day. In Little Beauties Wood are concrete bases, which local knowledge states  were to hide vehicles/huts from aerial observation during D Day preparations. Also found a manhole in nearby Church Wood indicating a camp being present during the war. Have also found a live .50" Browning round in this wood several years ago. But the icing on the cake for today's field work was a little pile of concrete - one lump of which was clearly identifiable as once belonging to a Suffolk Square Pillbox (the characteristic pre-cast blocks used as shuttering were clearly visible). A search through surrounding scrub failed to find any evidence of the second pillbox supposed to have been in the area. Will carry out a more detailed search when I have time.
Top left: Remains of Suffolk Square.  Top right: Concrete base for hut, probably associated with 26 Assualt Sqn RE
Bottom Left:  Remains of concrete base, probably associated with 26 Assualt Sqn RE

Monday 7 December 2009

Mon 7th: Visited Darsham CH radar station today. Today its largely scrubbed over but much still remains, including at least five of the eight pillboxes guarding it.  The pillbox design is unique to this site and is basically an L shape brick shuttered bullet proof pillbox. Perhaps its most unusual feature is the the variable loophole arrangement.  On top of the pillboxes can be seen the remains of presumably protection for a LAA gun. In addition, other buildings still survive such as the two guard houses at the entrances. Also at least one of the huge concrete blocks that would have supported the mast still exists.