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.

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