Gun turret from German occupation found at Grande Havre

  • 13 June 2011
  • From the section Guernsey
German gun turret
Image caption The gun turret was designed with four slits to enable the operator to sight targets

A sole surviving gun turret dating from the German occupation of Guernsey has been unearthed at a Vale parish beach.

It is believed the turret, which is 5ft (1.5m) high, is the only one of its type not to have been scrapped since the liberation of the island in 1945.

Paul Bourgaize, the project co-ordinator for the restoration group Festung Guernsey, said the discovery at Grande Havre beach was unique.

"We were very excited when we realised what it was. It's very rare," he said.

Internal fittings

The six tonne bell-shaped turret would have been built into a bunker.

It had four slits cut into its four-inch thick metal in order for the operator to sight targets.

Mr Bourgaize said: "There isn't another example in the Channel Islands. They did have them in the other islands but they were removed post-war by the scrap-men.

"This is the only surviving example. All the internal fittings are still there."

A member of the public, Roy Glass, spotted the turret protruding from the soil and alerted the Environment Department.

It, in turn, got in touch with Festung Guernsey to investigate further.

It is thought the gun was part of an anti-tank wall along the sweep of Grande Havre bay which was never completed.

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