Coastal and village defences

There were a number of defences established around the area as this was one of the more likely coasts to be invaded. After the war began, villagers had remembered a German holidaymaker cycling and taking photographs a year previously and think that this may have informed the briefing book for German troops (see illustration). The beach was out of bounds and large tubular steel scafolding was erected along the sand to hinder any invading force.

The present path down to the sea at Brook was mined. The mines were all exploded at the end of the war on a day when everyone was told to keep their doors and windows open to avoid damage from the explosion. Inevitably, perhaps, we are told it was a windy day...

A searchlight to spot in-coming enemy planes and a Bofors anti-aircraft gun were placed facing out to sea in the triangular field by the Military Road. At first the searchlight was situated under the washing line at Hanover (next to the barn). This meant Hanover was at greater risk of being bombed so the Reverend Kirkbride ordered it to be moved aross the road into Mr Hookey’s field.

There were concrete pillboxes along the top of the cliffs at Compton and also at Chilton, opposite what is now Isle of Wight Pearl.

Ken Barnes remembers: In Brook village a road block was constructed near the gate of the Rectory to deter enemy vehicles. I think it did more to hinder local people. I was in the Home Guard for a short while. I remember that at the top of Brook Shute two combustible 45 gallon drums of a napalm-type substance was set into the bank on the right hand side of the road at the crest of the hill. This was supposed to be set off by an explosive charge in the event of enemy vehicles coming up the hill. 

There were a number of defences established around the area as this was one of the more likely coasts to be invaded. After the war began, villagers had remembered a German holidaymaker cycling and taking photographs a year previously and think that this may have informed the briefing book for German troops (see illustration).

The beach was out of bounds and large tubular steel scafolding was erected along the sand to hinder any invading force. The present path down to the sea at Brook was mined. The mines were all exploded at the end of the war on a day when everyone was told to keep their doors and windows open to avoid damage from the explosion. Inevitably, perhaps, we are told it was a windy day...A searchlight to spot in-coming enemy planes and a Bofors anti-aircraft gun were placed facing out to sea in the triangular field by the Military Road. At first the searchlight was situated under the washing line at Hanover (next to the barn). This meant Hanover was at greater risk of being bombed so the Reverend Kirkbride ordered it to be moved aross the road into Mr Hookey’s field.

There were concrete  pillboxes along the top of the cliffs at Compton and also at Chilton, opposite what is now Isle of Wight Pearl. Ken Barnes remembers: In Brook village a road block was constructed near the gate of the Rectory to deter enemy vehicles. I think it did more to hinder local people.

I was in the Home Guard for a short while. I remember that at the top of Brook Shute two combustible 45 gallon drums of a napalm-type substance was set into the bank on the right hand side of the road at the crest of the hill. This was supposed to be set off by an explosive charge in the event of enemy vehicles coming up the hill.