In the 1940s US and Canadian troops would train and live in England before the D-Day invasions of France, to shorten the journey time/make the assault more effective. This was the main purpose of ‘army camps’ in the Second World War throughout England, and not to house British troops as many may think. Many army camps, however, were built to house those stationed at sea or air defence gun aites nearby. Thorney Bay army camp would have been used to house the British soldiers who would fire/work at the Scars Elbow Sea Defenses (see http://beyondthepoint.co.uk/2011/10/27/scars-elbow-sea-defences-rare-picture/).
I and BTP Joe have passed the area twice, and do promise to return for a thorough investigation. On each of the two quick visits, we have found a total of three remains. The first below is the ‘magazine’ (ammunition storage building). It still had the iron doors attached and several slits to presumably let in light, not to fire out of, as this was not a defensive building. Inside it looked like nothing but a homeless person had taken shelter, due to the several mattresses e.t.c.
The next find is simply a concrete base which was left when the earth was built up around the sea wall in the 1970s/80s. This would be where the ‘tower’ was from the camp. We now know that this the remains of an entrance to an underground area for pipes area built in the 60s as the sluice connected to Anglian Water (search the site for more info). My father remembers seeing this entrance amongst undergrowth as a child.
The final find was from our second trip, and used to have this building next to it (photo courtesy of Dave Bullock)
Here it is, the very nice rusty looking telephone cable pole. This was attached to the communications building seen above, but was demolished in 2009 before we were into this hobby. It is an excellent landmark and reminder of the area’s proud past.
Finally, I would love to wish you all a Merry BtP Christmas, and announce that a Christmas Eve treat is to be released on Beyond the Point, being an interactive entirely new feature…