Dartmouth in WW2

It would take a sizeable book do justice to Dartmouth`s contribution to the war effort; but here are a few things to see if you visit…..

It`s highly reccomended that you visit the Dartmouth Museum and see the Tapestry there, which shows Dartmouth during WW2.

Motor Gun Boat Flotilla

From 1942 to 1944 the 15th Motor Gun Boat Flotilla carried out clandestine operations from the River Dart to Northern Brittany. Working closely with French Resistance it landed and brought back to England many Allied agents and airmen shot down over Europe. Today a memorial exists to the men of this Flotilla at the ramp to the lower ferry at Kingswear.

Greenway House

The novelist Agatha Christie’s house was used as a Naval headquarters during WW2. Agatha Christie’s family gave Greenway to the National Trust in 2000, and the building is now open to the public.

South Hams Training Area

Four miles to the west of Dartmouth lies the South Hams Training Area. This area was evacuated during November 1943, and used as a live-fire training area for mainly US forces.

Dartmouth Defences

Dartmouth Castle on the west side of the river had a battery of 4.7 inch guns and there was an anti-aircraft gun site on Jawbones Hill behind the town. In addition on the Kingswear side there was a machine gun post at Kingswear Castle and a land based torpedo launching site below Kingswear Court. This can still be seen, and is one of only two left remaining. The mouth of the River Dart and Start Bay was protected by the guns of Brownstone Battery.

Brownstone Battery

Brownstone Battery was built in 1940, as a defence against German naval attack. The site has a commanding view across Start Bay, and guards the mouth of the River Dart.

Dartmouth was bombed on more than one occasion and both the town and Phillips Shipyard suffered considerable damage with loss of life.