Gnr Harry Holyhead 14516779 RIP 1928-1977

  • June 22, 2024

Gnr Harry Holyhead onboard the Redsand Army Fort in 1943

Mr Harry Holyhead was a Radar Operator on the Sea Forts from the commencement of their operations in 1943 He was called up on the 21st January 1943-1945 and his pre deployment training took place at Woolwich Arsenal under the strictest of secrecy as the Sea Forts had not even been grounded yet!

He was trained on the use of High Frequency Direction Finder (HFDF or Huff Duff as it was more commonly known) and Fire Control.

He then joined the 1st Anti Aircraft Fort Regiment Royal Artillery (RA) and served on most of the sea Forts during this period including the Redsand Sea Forts.

After the war ended he was sent to India in the December of 1945 to join 208 Field Regiment (Fd Rgt) RA as a Driver and he was quite literally “Ubique” (Everywhere) he remained there until May 1947 when he came back to England and Demobilized. A Testimonial was written for him upon his release from Active Service “A Sound , honest and cheerful man . He is a good driver and maintains his vehicle in an excellent condition”

He then joined the Army reserves as a National and carried on with his Civilian life.

He was called back into service on the 30th March 1952 at Woolwich Training wing as a Radar Control/Operator Fire Control Radar Operator. to be recalled out into the Thames Estuary again to once again man the Sea Forts which had been put into Caretaker storage given the current tensions with the Soviet Union.

The last two pictures are of a Christmas card from 1943 which was sent from the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Shivering Sands Sea Forts (I wonder if he had some German connections as you can clearly see the HFDF and Radar equipment on a super secret Army Sea Fort)

Harry also features in Frank Turners books “The Maunsell Sea Forts Book 3” He sadly passed away in 1977.



All 2024 Blog Posts Events Media Progress Reports Roll of Honour 2020 2021

The Enfield Pageant of Motoring 2024

Good Morning Fort Fans this weekend we attended the Enfield Pageant of Motoring. We again met some awesome people and we also managed to get a few new artifacts for our display including a Bofors gun ammo crate , a…

Michael Kavanagh RIP 20th July 1931 – 28th June 2005

Michael Kavanagh RIP 20th July 1931 - 28th June 2005 My grandfather Michael Kavanagh was born and bred on the Isle of Sheppey and had lived through the war and remembered every single plane he had ever seen many baring…

Work continues…….

Good Morning Fort Fans! This weekend we attended the D Day 80 Celebrations at Slough Fort and we have spent the rest of the weekend working on our 3.7 inch AA Gun getting her ready for some topcoat paint. Thanks…

The Show Season starts!

Hi there Fort Fans just another update of the Projects continuing works. This weekend a few of the Forts Volunteers will be attending Fort Luton with a few suprises. We shall be bringing along quite a few Artifacts from the…

NEWSFLASH!!!!!! Apologies for the long awaited 2024 update!!!!

It is with great pleasure that we proudly present to you one of the original Thames Sea Forts 3.7 inch Anti Aircraft Guns. This was discovered at the Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum and many thanks for their help in…

Project Redsand CIO 2021 Calendar – Limited Stock

It is with great pleasure that we present to you our official community calendar for 2021. All the images in the calendar was submitted by our Facebook Fans and the 12 most popular images made it into the calendar. We…

Project Redsand CIO community calendar competition 2021

Congratulations to the winners of the Project Redsand community calendar 2021 and big thanks to everyone that took part. We will contact all the winners individually soon to get shipping details for your calendars. More information on calendar availability soon,…

Redsand Fort inspired local artist Debbie Adams

Debbie is a local artist from the Isle of Sheppey Kent. Having always loved to draw and paint which has got her through many ups and downs in her life especially with her health.Debbie attended Rochester Art College 1986 –…

2020 Progress Report

Since our last report the project has been very busy putting safeguards in place to increase and ensure the safety of our crew and visitors, and also continued to carry out other essential works. The Project also had some managerial…

2021 Community Calendar Competition

Hi there Fort Fans We are planning to make an Official Project Redsand Calendar for 2021 with Images submitted by the community, anyone is welcome to make a submission. ???? SUBMIT your favourite fort image or artwork HERE, and let the…

Vera Lynn

Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20 March 1917 – 18 June 2020) was an English singer, songwriter and entertainer whose musical recordings and performances were very popular during the Second World War. She was widely referred…

Fort Fans

Hello Fort fans hope all of you are well This has been sent in by possibly our youngest fan 7 year old Lauren Proudfoot of Leigh On Sea in Essex All pictures used with kind permission of Lauren’s Father Greg…