Your guide to Mersea Island

WWII Decoy Bunker in East Mersea

WWII Decoy Bunker in East Mersea

A decoy bunker stands in East Mersea to the north east of the island.

Purposely built in this deserted area to house engines for pumping kerosene on to dummy buildings, it was hoped that these, when set alight would persuade enemy bombers to drop their bombs on this position.

BR2 East Mersea was a WWII part of the N series of naval decoys administered by the Royal Navy in Harwich. This class of decoy was designed specifically for the protection of naval installations in this case the naval facilities at Brightlingsea, two miles to the East across the River Colne.

The site was a QL/QF a type which only attempted to draw night-time bombers away from the town with dummy lighting but also to continue the deception with fires from blazing ‘houses’ & ‘factories’. A wartime drawing by on of the camp guards, Hubert Inman in 1944 shows the layout of the East Mersea site. Some of the lighting arrays can be seen together with prepared Basket Fires and Boiler Fires. The decoy site was built at East Mersea during WWII to cover the Brightlingsea mine sweeper base and was actively used between 1939 to 1945.

A control bunker, which housed the power generator and an operations room, survives at the site in good condition. It is still situated within its protective earthen bank, but the blast wall fronting its entrance has been demolished.

This post has been categorised under: History.

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