Orkney Image Library

<< back
Orkney Coastal Defences
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
Orkney Coastal Defences

This photo had Coastal Defences, Orkney, written on the back. Can anybody recognise where it was taken?.
Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 22 September 2007
This was the anti-aircraft battery at Scapa beach overlooking the Eastern reaches of Scapa Flow I believe. the site of the modern Harbours HQ is just out of shot to the left.
Added by Hazel Weaver on 22 September 2007
This photograph appears in James Miller's book SCAPA and confirms the site as Scapa Beach. Strangely, this battery is not mentioned in Jeff Dorman's ORKNEY COAST BATTERIES 1914 - 1956.
Added by Sandy on 22 September 2007
Further to the above: The photo in the book SCAPA is Black and White. The above
photo, which is exactly the same as the one in the book, appears to have a tinted sky. Do you have any more photos like this Gordie?
Added by Sandy on 23 September 2007
I was at a talk recently by Geoffrey Stell during the science festival and this photo was shown. He said that although it was thought to be scapa it is a training battery in Dumfries.
Added by Bob on 23 September 2007
I remember Mr Stell saying that he had spoken to the late Alan Rosie about this photo, and Alan had confirmed it was the gunnery school as the guns are all different types.
Added by Grant Leonard on 26 September 2007
Is it not the RN Close Range AA Training Establishment at Yesnaby?

Canmore ID 106568

Added by Martin Briscoe on 31 October 2012
No, not Yesnaby. Nothing bigger than a Bofors at that site as far as I know.
I think G Stell is right and it is the AA gunnery school in Dumfries & Galloway - at Burrow Head canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/146537/details/
(where the final climactic scene of The Wicker Man was filmed, incidentally).
The two largest guns, far left, are 4.5-inch guns, the next appears to be a 3.7-inch. The one far right is probably a 3-inch AA gun but not 100% sure. All four types featured in the defence of Scapa Flow in WWII.
Added by Andrew Hollinrake on 02 April 2014
Andrew, were any Mk 6 3.7" deployed to Orkney? They were essentially 4.5" but with the bore reduced to 3.7 and Probert rifled IIRC.
Added by Chris Werb on 13 February 2017
I remember seeing that photo some years back as being a training battery south. Numbering the guns from the left. I remember four of no 3 at the Wilderness Holm with another four at Valdigar. There were four no 4 at Cleat, and another four at Ferryhouse. early in the war.
Added by Ron Marwick on 18 February 2017
Hi Chris. I've only seen refs to whether the 3.7s in Orkney were on mobile or static mounts - I've yet to find refs to Marks, but will have another dig. Mk 6 were only deployed in static mounts and most 3.7s in Orkney were static, at least in the 1943 listing I have.
According to Hogg's 'British & American Artillery of WWII':
"Mk 6 1943: A 65-calibre 3.7in loose liner with Research Dept. rifling inserted into a 4.5in Mk 2 body"
And in mountings for 3.7:
"Mk 4: 4.5in Mk 1 mounting modified for use with the 3.7in Mk 6 gun."
The above photo shows two guns with shields which could I suppose be either 4.5s or 3.7s, but 4.5s more likely I think, if it is at Burrow Head as Stell suggests. Would need a higher res version of image to be sure! 4.5s only ever had one Mk of mounting AFAIK.
I'll need to have a look through other/later War Diaries to check for 'imports' of 3.7s from '43 onwards but it doesn't ring a bell.
Further to suggestion of Yesnaby - still sure it ain't, and only up to Bofors mounted for Naval use, but the Army did take mobile 3.7s up there for practice on at least one occasion.
Cheers, Andrew
Added by Andrew Hollinrake on 19 February 2017
<< back

Latest Pics

The Haven, BrimsFrom the Longhope Lifeboat Museum'The Cats', Balaclava Road, FlottaHighland Park Distillery Visitor CentreHighland Park presentationHighland Park Distillery RetiralHighland Park Distillery TeamHighland Park still maintenanceHighland Park RetiralHighland Park Retiral