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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Wartime Sea Defences Removal

click image to enlarge
It is hard to imagine today, but during World War Two Milford on Sea beach was out of bounds and the length of the coast was a line of steel defences designed to thwart any invading troops and their landing equipment.

The Wartime Sea Defences were built in 1940/41 by troops of the Wiltshire Regiment. At the time of being laid on the surface, within two tides they had sunk to around 16 inches deep.

Removal of these Wartime Sea Defences is taking a bit longer than they did to erect.

Courtesy of MoSHRS
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The Milford on Sea Historical Record Society have generously share two newspaper articles which show winter removals using a 'Sea Mule' and small gang of men, and then further removal work in Spring 1949. 

Courtesy of MoSHRS
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It is evident that this was not easy work, not least because of the defences having now sunk to a depth of many feet.

Locally we have a hardy group of people who are members of the Milford on Sea Swimming Society, who regularly swim in the sea all year round. Their Facebook page often mentions sighting of steel tubing as they swim. 

Last month, and 75 years after their construction, the council returned again to once again remove what they could of the remaining Wartime Sea Defences in front of Hordle Cliffs.

Photo by Brian Pearson of MoSSS
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Brian Pearson. an active member of Milford on Sea Swimming Society, captured some excellent photographs of the steel removed and it is quite amazing the volume of the remaining defences that has been removed.

With a bit of luck it is all gone now! 

Photo by Brian Pearson of MoSSS
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