A bit of extra info, with links, in case you want to delve a bit deeper into the stories featured in Episode Two of Britain at Low Tide, Series Two.
This particular episode was fun, but also very moving to film. It’s a funny feeling, because from the safe distance of 2018, it is all to easy to get caught up in the excitiment of a Girls Own adventure — I got to ride in a tank! And go out on a boat! And explore beneath the waves with a remotely operated submersible!
And then it hits you: the reality of war. People died. And their loved ones didn’t know why, or when, or where. FOR OVER FIFTY YEARS.
Thankfully, people like John Pearson exist. He’s not just a tank enthusiast, though I am glad he is that too (thanks for the tank ride, John!): he was he was responsible for placing the plaque at Fort Henry commemorating the six men who died in Exercise Smash. For the first time, family members like Joan Brunt, the widow of Arthur Parks, had a memorial for their loved ones where they could mourn their passing.
So lets just take a moment to remember those who died on the 4th April 1944:
- Sergeant V. Hartley
- Corporal Arthur J. Park
- Corporal V. N. Townson
- Trooper A. Kirkby
- Trooper E. G. Petty
- Lieutenant C. R. Gould
Just six names amongst the tens of millions of people who died worldwide in the second world war. But worth remembering nonetheless.
Next week we are across the border on the River Clyde, where we lark around in the mud investigating how a river as ridiculously shallow as the Clyde ended up becoming the shipyard for some of the world’s largest ships… and get scorched uncovering the secrets of a mysterious crannog — 8pm, 3rd March, Channel 4.
And don’t forget, if you want to get involved in coastal archaeology CITiZAN have loads of opportunities: https://citizan.org.uk/get-involved
Valentine Duplex Drive tanks weren’t actually used in D-Day. Instead, by the time the 6th June 1944 came around, enough of the bigger and better (it didn’t have to have it’s gun turret spun around in the wrong direction while afloat..) Sherman Tanks had been modified to duplex drive, with the characteristic canvas skirts. Valentines continued to be used for training, and also saw active service in Italy 1945.
- Here is some more info about the archaeological work being done by Dave Parham, Nick Reed & co to record and study the tanks sunk in Studland Bay:
- The team is commencing a new survey of the tanks on the 4th April 2018, which will start with the laying of a wreath in memory of the men who died (thanks to Nick Reed for letting me know)
- And here is CITiZAN’s introduction to Studland Bay and it’s arcaheological treasures: https://www.citizan.org.uk/resources/key-zones/south-west/studland-bay-dorset/
IRON AGE POOLE
- Mike Markey’s latest work on the Iron Age Jetty at Cleavel Point hasn’t been published yet, but this is a nice summary of the excavations and preliminary findings: http://www.wessexportal.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Poole-Harbour-Iron-Age-Port.pdf [pdf]
- And I heartily recommend reading Eileen Wilke’s PhD thesis to get a sense of just how much maritime trade was going on along the Dorset coast in the Iron Age: Volume One (the text) and Volume Two (the figures & tables)
- And shortly after we filmed with Grace Jones, she successfully defended her PhD Thesis! Hurrah! Here it is, with everything you ever hoped to know about Iron Age pottery production in Poole Harbour: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/29885/
- You can also delve deeper into Poole Harbours Iron Age archaeology with this write up of Time Team’s excavations on Green Island: http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/files/52568_Green%20Island.pdf
BROWNSEA ISLAND CLAY WORKS
- The failure of Colonel Waugh’s clay works was all down to the geology, and there is no better place to read more about the geology and history (and how these intersect) of Brownsea than Ian West’s excellent field guides. Seriously,they are AMAZING: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Brownsea-Island-Geology.htm
- And here is CITiZAN’s introduction to Brownsea and the work they are doing there: https://www.citizan.org.uk/resources/key-zones/south-west/brownsea-island-dorset/
SEA PLANE LIGHTER
- The wonderful Dave Morris is a Curator of Aircraft at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, where they have a T3 Sea Plane Lighter in their Reserve Collection which is in far better nick than the one CITiZAN were recording…
- the reserve collection is only open to the public on special tour days, but THERE IS JUST SUCH A TOUR HAPPENING ON THE **8TH OF MARCH**! See here for more info: http://www.fleetairarm.com/event/87.aspx
- but if you can’t get a place on the 8th March tour, you can see a picture of it here: http://www.fleetairarm.com/aircraft-reserve-collection.aspx