Some days you just have to get out in the sunshine - but not many have as good an excuse as we had today!! After the recent expert confirmation that what we had found on the marsh was actually the motor of a German V2 rocket from WWII, we had a race against time to retrieve it before the contractors cut off our access with the start of development of the construction site for cell 1.
Volunteers swiftly moved into position this morning, ably supervised by Ellen Heppell from the ECC Archaeology Field Team. We soon discovered that there was more of it under the marsh than above so plenty of spades made light work and eventually it was free of the sticky essex mud and our friends from HP Elderton skillfully lifted it over the seawall and transported it to a place of security.
This wonderful find will now require some careful conservation so that we may use it in future as part of our education and heritage display. WWII is just one era which we hope to bring to life for future audiences, as we develop our facilities and events and activities can be more creative.
For the full story check out our Flickr pages on http://www.flickr.com/photos/rspb_wallasea_island_wild_coast_project/sets/
Wow, very impressive!! So often when we hear about RSPB volunteers we inadvertently conjure up an image of my namesake with his beard and bino's leading a birding walk or a member of the blue rinse brigade shaking a tin at us at some event. (Both of which I have a great deal of time and respect for). But for me this truly reveals the wide range of skills and experience that these guys actually have and the reason why the RSPB places so much emphasis on their value. Who would have thought that whenever they found this item that they would just take it in their stride and think "ok, we have the necessary skills and experience in our volunteers to recover this safely and proffesionally"? A fantasctic effort - well done to everyone concerned, I look forward to seeing it on display.
Fantastic find! A bit of research would suggest that the rocket was one of the following:
Oct. 09 1944, (13.45 hours) - Batt. 2./485, V-2 rocket fired, impacted on marshland at Hydemarsh Farm, near Fambridge, Essex. Rocket disintegrated at high altitude. One house in nearby Southminster slightly damaged by falling fragment.
Nov. 23 1944, (19.25 hours) - Battery 444, Loosduinen (Site 18), V-2 rocket fired, impacted Foulness Island, Essex. Fell in field. Slight damage, no casualties.
Dec. 01 1944, (21.12 hours) - Battery 444, Hoek van Holland, V-2 rocket fired, impacted Paglesham, Essex. Fell in River Roach. No damage or casualties.
My money would be on the last record. The following link could even be a record of an eye witness to this event...