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Historic England Research Records

Embarkation Hard Site Pk

Hob Uid: 1470799
Location :
City of Plymouth
Non Civil Parish
Grid Ref : SX4960053200
Summary : The site of a Second World War embarkation hard at Turnchapel Wharf in Plymouth, known as site PK. It was built by the Admiralty between 1942 and 1943 under the control of Plymouth Command in preparation for D-Day. This was either a 4-berth hard for landing craft transporting troops (a LCT hard) or a 2-berth hard for landing ships carrying tanks (a LST hard). It consisted of a concrete loading ramp equipped with steel framed mooring points. Embarkation hard sites were built with associated access roads, approach roads, transit areas and accommodation and ancillary buildings. This was one of 15 embarkation hard sites under Plymouth Command.
More information : A Second World War embarkation hard located at Turnchapel in Plymouth (SX 496 532). This was either a 4-berth hard for landing craft transporting troops (a LCT hard) or a 2-berth hard for landing ships carrying tanks (a LST hard). It was controlled by Plymouth Command. Further embarkation hard sites for Plymouth Command were located at Torquay (SX 918 631), Brixham (SX 932 566), four at Dartmouth (SX 882 523, SX 879 519, SX 879 514, SX 436 585), two at Plymouth (SX 455 530, SX 457 527), Devonport (SX 415 569), four at Falmouth (SW 845 402, SW 837 383, SW 815 323, SW 813 324) and Polgwidden Cove (SW 768 269).

Embarkation hards were built by the Admiralty as part of Operation Overlord to load landing vessels in preparation for D-Day and the invasion of occupied Europe. A total of 68 individual hards were constructed between 1942 and 1944 across the southern coast of England in every county between Suffolk and Cornwall.
There were two types of embarkation hards: LCT hards for landing crafts for troops and LST hards for landing ships carrying tanks. A standard hard consisted of a rectangular concrete apron that sloped down into the water, which was equipped with steel framed mooring points (known as dolphins) to moor the vessels during loading. Hard sites included access roads to link the hards to public highways, approach roads to accommodate the concentrated heavy traffic and transit areas for marshalling troops, vehicles and equipment. Accommodation and ancillary buildings at hard sites would include offices for embarkation staff; a central control room; a workshop for maintenance crew; stores; a watch hut and a latrine. Sites were also fitted with fuel, lighting and utilities. (1)

The Admiralty must have purchased the area of the eastern quay before or after the first world war as it was adpated as a hard-standing for D-Day in June 1944. Currently there is a concrete slip-way where the hard would have been. (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Twentieth century fortifications in England, volume 5. Operation Overlord : embarkation works for the invasion of occupied Europe, 1942-44
Source details :
Page(s) : 6,9,11,14,16,35
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Turnchapel, Plymouth
Source details : By Rebecca Lane, May 2013. Report part of the English Heritage Defence disposals project
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : 1942-1945
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1942
Monument Type : Embarkation Hard
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SX 45 SE 821
External Cross Reference Notes :

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Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, LANDSCAPES OF WAR RECORDING PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31