In World War II the south east coast was stoutly defended by a blanket of barbed wire, mines and concrete barriers, intended to protect us from the German invasion. Both Palace Pier and the West Pier were closed for the duration of the war and gaps were cut in both promenades to make sure they could not be used by the enemy.
Instructions in the event of an invasion
Gun crews were strategically placed along the seafront and it is believed that they were instructed to destroy either or both the piers to stop the German navy using them as landing stages for an invasion. There were several naval bases set up in Brighton and Hove. One of these, was at Roedean School, which was requisitioned to house HMS Vernon, The Royal Navy’s Torpedo and Mine Training School.
Clearing the beaches
When hostilities ceased the beaches needed to be cleared and made safe once again. The photograph here shows naval personnel from HMS Vernon removing a mine from the beach at Brighton.
Do you remember this?
Do you remember the beaches being covered with these sea defences? If you do, please leave a comment below and tell us about it.