Record Details

NHER Number:27272
Type of record:Monument
Name:World War Two anti aircraft battery at Oak Farm, West Caister

Summary

A World War Two heavy anti aircraft (HAA) battery is visible on aerial photographs at Oak Farm, West Caister. This site was previously recorded as part of NHER 17360.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TG 50381 11426
Map Sheet:TG51SW
Parish:WEST CAISTER, GREAT YARMOUTH, NORFOLK

Full description

World War Two anti aircraft artillery given this grid reference (TG 505 113)
Accurate?
D. Gurney (NLA) 28 January 1997.

July 1946.
RAF aerial photograph shows 4 structures with internal features of anti aircraft battery. Area of site extended slightly to west to include these which appear to still be shown on Ordnance Survey 1:10,000 map, or is it new structures on the fdns?
B. Cushion (NLA) 9 June 1999.

March 2005. Norfolk NMP.
A World War Two heavy anti aircraft (HAA) battery is visible on contemporary and later aerial photographs at Oak Farm, West Caister (S1) to (S5). This site was previously recorded as part of NHER 17360 and is centred on TG 5034 1140.
This site (No. YH1) formed part of the group of HAA batteries protecting Great Yarmouth. It was first mentioned in May 1942 and was equipped with four 3.7 inch guns supported by GL Mk II radar (S6). This HAA battery was located 1.7km east of another battery at Decoy Farm, Mautby (NHER 29751).
The earliest available aerial photographs of the West Caister HAA battery, which date to March 1944, only show part of the site (S2). The full extent of the site is visible on July 1944 aerial photographs and the mapping shows the layout of the site at this date (S1). The four gun emplacements are located in an arc to the east of TG 5036 1139 and a linked by an access road. These are octagonal in form and each one has four square ammunition recesses positioned on opposing internal walls. A rectangular structure, probably a shelter, is attached to the outside of each of the gun emplacements. To the west of the gun emplacements at TG 5035 1139 is the command post building. The site’s GL Mk II radar was located on a plinth at TG 50265 11430. The part of the site containing the gun emplacements and radar was surrounded by a barbed wire enclosure. This is clearly visible on the eastern and southern side of the site. On the western side of the site the defended perimeter appears to have lain along field boundaries and is disguised by hedges. However, three small weapons pits mark its probable position. A further weapons pit is located outside the barbed wire perimeter on the edge of the cliff to the south of the site. Two small structures of unknown function were located at TG 50385 11215 and TG 50565 11390. These were linked to the main site by tracks leading through gaps in the barbed wire perimeter. Only three structures mapped in this area of the site were not present in July 1944. A rectangular structure, located at TG 50205 11415 was only visible on aerial photographs dating to 26 March 1944 and had gone by 4 July 1944 (S1-2). By 27 June 1946 a Nissen hut type building was present at TG 50345 11360, and an additional concrete structure had been built at TG 50300 11380 (S3). This concrete structure appears to be a radar platform with a ramp leading up from its western side.
The domestic site associated with this battery was located on either side of Back Lane, 180m to the north of the command post. This site comprised mainly of Nissen hut type (or similar) buildings arranged end on to the road. In the centre of the domestic site was a circular area positioned across Back Lane. This was surrounded by four rectangular buildings of different types and may have represented a small parade ground. The buildings on the site appear to have been linked by narrow paths, although these were not mapped. A north to south aligned structure at TG 5025 1158 appears to have been a large Nissen hut type building. The linked buildings immediately to its east appear to have been partly of brick or concrete construction. The barbed wire perimeter around the domestic site is not clearly visible on the 1944 aerial photographs. Two concrete blocks stand either side of Back Lane at the eastern end of the site, presumably representing a sentry post at the entrance to the camp. No corresponding sentry post is visible at the western end of the site. The domestic site was used to house displaced families at the end of the war, with the last of these moving out in 1952 (S7).
Although most of the structures at the domestic site had been removed by April 1951, revealing their concrete bases, the more substantial gun emplacements and command post remained (S4). It is possible that the command post had been incorporated into an agricultural building on the same site by 1980 (S5). The central two gun emplacements had been partly destroyed by a large agricultural building by the same date. However, the survival and present condition of the northern and southern gun emplacements is unknown.
J. Albone (NMP), 17 March 2005

February 2006. Norfolk NMP.
From September 1944 this heavy anti aircraft battery formed part of the ‘Diver Strip’. This was a line of anti aircraft batteries along the Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk coast that provided defence against V1 flying bombs. At that time the battery YH1 formed part of 63 Anti Aircraft Brigade and was operated by 139(M) regiment. Unlike other HAA sites on this section of the Diver Strip, this site was equipped with GL10 radar and a No. 5 predictor (S8). See also extract from (S7) in secondary file.
J. Albone (NMP), 20 February 2006

Monument Types

  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • ANTI AIRCRAFT BATTERY COMMAND POST (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BARBED WIRE ENTANGLEMENT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • MILITARY BUILDING (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • NISSEN HUT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • WEAPONS PIT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF HLA/694 4102 26-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S2>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1944. RAF 106G/LA/21 4001-2 04-JUL-1944 (NMR).
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 4007-4008 27-JUN-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1951. RAF 540/465 4005-4006 20-APR-1951 (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1980. NHER TG 5011A (NLA 78/ANK10) 09-JUN-1980.
<S6>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Site Gazetteer. WWII HAA & ZAA.. Vol I.3. p 489.
<S7>Publication: Tooke, C.. 2004. West Caister. p 33.
<S8>Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England: Operation Diver.. Vol IV. p 245.

Related records - none

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