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Remembered Today:

WW1 battery at Loch Ewe?


Champsavin
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I hope that this is the correct subforum for my question.

In 3 weeks I will head to Loch Ewe / Scotland. As usual I did some reseach upfront and got some hints for a WW1 fortification at Rubh 'a Choin, a small peninsula north of Aultbea. It was obviously a small battery built in 1914, but I don't have any details. The year 1914 indicates that it was most probably a coastal defence battery and not an AA battery as the one that was erected in the same area in WW2. Does anyone here have any information about this battery? I'm especially interested in the exact location and maybe a plan. Every help would be highly appreciated.

Thank you,

Bernd

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In his "Britain's Sea Soldiers" Gen Blumberg records (Chapter 20 (2) Aultbea):-

"In the early days of the war it was found necessary to establish a small base on the west coast of Sctland for various purposes; Aultbea being selected. HMS ILLUSTRIOUS landed her Royal Marine officer, Captain H Regnart RMLI (retd), with two NCOs, one gunner RMA and eight privates RMLI (reservists), and some 12-pounder guns, to form a small battery to guard the entrance to the loch.

When HMS ILLUSTRIOUS left, a reinforcement of two NCOs and 19 privates from Chatham were sent up and the battery was properly organised. This small party maintained their lonely and monotonous duties throughout the war, gradually improving their organisation and accommodation. The battery was under the control of the Senior Naval Officer as it was required for Naval purposes, and had to be organised quickly as a 'Advanced Base'".

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Thank you for this quote, indeed very interesting. Assuming that those 12-pounder guns might have been QF 12-pounder 12 cwt naval guns, there must be traces of their mountings - provided they were not superstructed by the WW2 AA battery.

Evaluating the CANMORE aerial views I noticed the remains of a WW2 light AA position (most probably a "Three Penny Bit") on Rubh a' Choin island which led me to the vague assumption that the WW1 battery could have been on this island, not on the peninsula. This assumption is supported by the rumour that the small bridge between peninsula and island was probably built in WW1.

I'm excited to see what I can find out on site.

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This is a link to the 1927 correction of the Admiralty chart for Loch Ewe (part of the National Library of Scotland collection of map images) - Rubh 'a Choin is on the Aultbea side of the loch, across from the northern tip of the Isle of Ewe: https://maps.nls.uk/view/101959148. I'm afraid I can't identify from the map which of a few marks could be the place.

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Thank you for this link. The only mark that might be relevant is the tactical symbol for a forward observer (a triangle with a dot inside) on Rubh a' Choin island. 

The small black rectangle on the peninsula is already visible on a map dated 1890, therefore most probably a croft or farmhouse.

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On 12/05/2022 at 19:26, Champsavin said:

The only mark that might be relevant is the tactical symbol for a forward observer (a triangle with a dot inside) on Rubh a' Choin island. 

Not relevant to a gun battery, On an Admiralty Chart that symbol marks a triangulation point. There are numerous such points on @seaJane's chart, often marking the highest ground..

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Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

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