The real dad’s army: War-time frontline in Fylde

BOP after it had been demolished being examined by Royal Engineers and Hungarian PoWs, at Fairhaven Lake, in 1946
BOP after it had been demolished being examined by Royal Engineers and Hungarian PoWs, at Fairhaven Lake, in 1946

Step back in time to a rarely-seen glimpse into Fylde’s past.

During the Second World War, between 1940 and 1941, batteries of coastal artillery were placed at vulnerable points along Britain’s coastline, in order to bombard enemy ships taking part in any invasion attempt.

Lytham Park, The Blackpool and Fylde Battery of the RFA in action

Lytham Park, The Blackpool and Fylde Battery of the RFA in action

This emergency coastal defence battery programme saw guns taken from ex-Royal Navy vessels scrapped after First World War and subsequently put into storage, brought back into service.

Shown here are Home Guard manning an anti-aircraft gun, at Albany Road, St Annes, on April 27, 1942.

The photograph, from our archives, has been stamped as ‘passed’ by the Ministry of Information – meaning it was allowed to be published during wartime. Once the war was over, the defence points were no longer needed.

Two of our photographs show the gun battery observation point (BOP) at Fairhaven Lake being demolished. It was blown up in April 1946.

Fairhaven Lake gun battery observation post, being blown up in April 1946 by Royal Engineers

Fairhaven Lake gun battery observation post, being blown up in April 1946 by Royal Engineers

Our top left picture shows Blackpool and Fylde Battery of the RFA in similar action during the First World War.

27 April 1942. Albany Road, St Annes. Manning an anti-aircraft gun

27 April 1942. Albany Road, St Annes. Manning an anti-aircraft gun

Lytham St Annes Home Guard battalion's machine gun

Lytham St Annes Home Guard battalion's machine gun