Dunwich battery was the only Suffolk Coast Battery to be armed with 4” guns as opposed to the normal 6” guns. The battery itself is encompassed in one building as opposed to separate locations for each casemate, crew shelters etc found for example at Southwold and Aldeburgh. It is sited on a mound 30ft high 1,000 yards form the beach and surrounded by water except for a causeway to the mainland.
The 4” Guns were originally installed in 1940 and first manned by D/58th Heavy Regt. 409 Coast Battery RA took over on 30 to 31st October. The battery position was described as being in a very bad state when 409 took over. Accommodation was in tents with an open cookhouse. A Dutch barn had been built to camouflage the guns which limited the traverse of the guns. Construction was still under way with the magazines being built behind each gun. One temporary Lewis gun post was on each flank. A Barr and Stroud Rangefinder was in store but had not been mounted and there was no battery observation post.
CASL’s had been mounted by on the mound December 1940 but in March 1941 it was decided to relocate them on the beach on the left flank of the battery.
During August 1941 409 Coast Battery was relieved by 371 Coast Battery RA. Work continued on the beach CASL’s positions with bridges being constructed from the battery to the CASL’s.
The battery location was not within any platoon or company ‘defended locality’ and actually formed a separate ‘defended locality’ between Dunwich and Walberswick, with the battery personnel responsible for its defence and also the routine patrols in the Sandymount Covert and Little Dingle area (e.g. an anti-paratroop patrol was formed with battery personnel on 23rd July 1941). Additional support was provided by Vickers machine guns sited in Sandymount Covert. The battery was to come under the command of the front line battalion when no longer able to perform its Coast Defence role.
The Battery was dismantled in 1943.
Dunwich Battery arc of fire - with the arcs of fire of Soutwold and Easton Wood Battery to show how the Coast Artillery
covered this section of the Suffolk Coast.
Above: Left - aerial photo of the battery, 1945. Right - the mound on which the battery is sited (the position can be just seen on the right hand side).
Southwold Fort Record Book, TNA
409 Coast Battery papers, TNA
371 Coast Battery papers, TNA