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HER Number:MDV103381
Name:Area H of the US Army Assault Training Centre, Woolacombe Sands

Summary

Woolacombe Sands, Area H of the US Army Assault Training Centre in the Second World War. Numerous probable training features are visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs dating to the 1940s, but have since been covered by shifting sands or removed, although some may have now eroded back out of the dunes.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 452 423
Map Sheet:SS44SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGeorgeham
Civil ParishMortehoe
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMORTEHOE

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses: none recorded

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • MILITARY TRAINING SITE (World War II - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Full description

Cambridge University, 1948, CUCAP AX, CUCAP AX9 29-JUN-1948 (Aerial Photograph). SDV16233.

Numerous structures and earthworks are visible.


Bass, R. T., 2005, Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition, 96 (Monograph). SDV325697.

Bass says of Area H of the U.S. Army Assault Training Centre (Woolacombe Sands): 'The area of flat sand and scrub immediately behind and below what is now Marine Drive was divided, chequer board style, into small exercise areas, each containing different types of obstacles that engineers and infantry would encounter on the enemy shore. It was here that the engineers learned and practised their demolition, mine-laying and mine-removal techniques'. Extents are approximate.


Hegarty, C. + Knight, S., 2011 - 2012, North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project (Interpretation). SDV349018.

Bass records that the central part of Woolacombe Sands was Area H of the US Army Assault Training Centre in the Second World War (2005). Numerous probable training features are visible as structures and earthworks on aerial photographs dating to the 1940s and are described in detail in the individual 'child' records for these features. Gunn (1999) states that these were covered by sands after the war but have re-emerged due to erosion in the 1980s-1990s.


Gunn, B., n.d. [1999], Tales of Old Woolacombe, 41 (Monograph). SDV350728.

Structural remains of the 'Army Training School at Woolacombe had become completely covered by the drifting sands and lost to view', but erosion in the late 1980s to early 1990s led to their re-emergence and they have 'now collapsed completely out of the sand hills'.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV16233Aerial Photograph: Cambridge University. 1948. CUCAP AX. Cambridge University Collection of Aerial Photographs. Photograph (Paper). CUCAP AX9 29-JUN-1948.
SDV325697Monograph: Bass, R. T.. 2005. Spirits of the Sand: Field Edition. Spirits of the Sand. A5 Paperback. 96. [Mapped feature: #62858 ]
SDV349018Interpretation: Hegarty, C. + Knight, S.. 2011 - 2012. North Devon Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty National Mapping Programme Project. AC Archaeology Report. ACD383/2/1. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV350728Monograph: Gunn, B.. n.d. [1999]. Tales of Old Woolacombe. Tales of Old Woolacombe. 41.

Associated Monuments

MDV103299Parent of: Hut platforms on Woolacombe Warren (Monument)
MDV103382Parent of: Military Tracks on the Dunes Above Woolacombe Sands (Monument)
MDV103307Parent of: Possible Military Building South of Woolacombe (Monument)
MDV103310Parent of: Possible Military Earthwork on Woolacombe Warren (Monument)
MDV103309Parent of: Possible Military Structures on Woolacombe Warren (Monument)
MDV103324Parent of: Walls on Woolacombe Warren (Monument)
MDV57332Part of: Morte Bay/Woolacombe Areas G, H and L of US Assault Training Centre (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV6132 - North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty NMP Project

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2012 5:10PM