Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Explosives on Nairn Beach

The BBC reports: "Part of a Highland beach used to train troops for the D-Day landings in World War II has been shut off following the discovery of rusting explosives.

The two devices found by a member of the public at about 09:45 were thought to have been exposed by shifting sand at Nairn's East Beach.

Bomb disposal experts are heading for the scene from Edinburgh.

Nairn's beaches were used to prepare soldiers and sailors for the Allied landings in Normandy in June 1944." More information here.

There is also a larger image of the ordnance on this Northern Constabulary web page.

Update: Interesting comments in from Murd and Nairnlass. Mrs Gurnmeister was speaking to someone today who remembers being warned about mines on the beach as a child in the early/mid fifties. This blog post highlights Nairn's link with the D-Day landings and also links to an interesting document which tells of the loss of a Valentine tank by the Royal Hussars in training off the Culbin.

In relation to Murd's post we have further information from Hamish who recalls a Harbour Street shoemaker's son being killed in a tragic accident during the war:

"I do believe that the lad was seven years old and he wandered on to a minefield at the Back Shore. As to the date I am not at all sure but an educated guess is that it was during the war years. 1940/41 ?"
Do any other gurnites have any memories of the D-Day training, the minefields or the munitions left behind after the war?
Update: Comment in from Min


nairnlass said...

I remember there used to be a sign on the east beach advising that there was the risk of unexploded munitions way back in the 1970's. Its not surprising that with the changes in the way the currents flow and the strong winds have uncovered them. Maybe the signs should be reinstated.

sand man said...

We've had a lot of westerly winds rather than the usual northerly ones this winter that have shifted tonnes of sand. Witness the corner of the west pier where it joins the car park, you can just about step onto the beach from here now

Anonymous said...

If Kinloss had been spared the Bomb Disposal team might have got here quicker!



If my memory serves me right there was a boy blown up on the east beach after the war I think he was from Fisher town

Min said...

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, we were always warned to be careful re mines on the East Beach.
From memory I think an elderly gentle man was killed about 1945 - 47 on the east beach when walking his dog, I seem to remember he lived at Merryton Crescent ( this may not be correct) I remember barbed wire on the beaches and Polish soldiers being billetted at Nairn. Mum used to always talk about the way the baths were damaged by Canadians I think.I also remember a local girl getting nylon stockings for the first time, only lisle stockings were available to buy. I clearly remember the victory bonfires on the Links and getting apples and hot chocolate at Millbank School from Canada.
Regards, from NZ
Min Walker (Davidson)

growtosow said...

my brother and i found a hand grenade along at hilton of delnies, this was a few years back now and not thinking anything of it we picked it up and took it home, our dad took it too the police station they in turn called in the bomb disposal team, their was a wee bit about it in the nairnshire, we were still in school at the time, you just never know when these things are going to turn up we were very lucky .

Graisg said...

Cheers for that one. Another one from a regular Gurnite.
He said: "my partner was telling me that as a child she found something on the beach and proudly took it home, it was easy to carry as it had a handle. Her folks were none too delighted, luckily it turned out to be a flare rather than something more powerful."

Anonymous said...

this lad was at school the same time as me and what a sad day when he was killed,i remember it well,he went in to retrieve a golf ball,but i must admit it was'nt unusual for us to throw stones in as well'and we used to go hunting for unused ammo at the old quarry on Lochloy rd.