SOUTHWOLD AT WAR
 
9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ - Tel: 01502 726097 email
 
 
 
 
 
In the beginning
The Sea
Natural Southwold
Fishing
Transport to Southwold
Southwold at war
Christianity in Southwold
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Arts & Crafts
Holidays & Leisure
Southwold the town
Southwold Shops & Trades

 

 

 
 
  Southwold has experienced the grim reality of war three times in the last 400 years
 
Small, peaceful and picturesque, Southwold’s enviable coastal position has often made the town vulnerable in wartime. Sole Bay, on which Southwold stands, saw a violent sea battle in 1672 during the Anglo-Dutch wars. Nearly 4000 seamen perished and Southwold’s residents were on alert in case they had to fight off an invading enemy.
Patriotic First World War poster by Reg Carter
  LET'S 'AVE A PROPER GANDER!
Patriotic First World War postcard by local artist and cartoonist Reg Carter.
Click the picture to find out more about how the Great War affected Southwold.
 
Southwold was in earshot of the guns in Flanders during World War One. Holidaymakers were replaced by army recruits camping on the Common and refugees sheltering in the Constitutional Hall. Food was scarce – but worst of all, the town came under direct attack from Zeppelin air raids and naval vessels.

As World War Two worsened and a German invasion became more likely, Southwold once again became a frontline town. The beach was mined, guns installed and beach huts were even scattered over the Common to deter enemy gliders. Hundreds of high-explosive bombs and incendiaries fell, killing thirteen residents, demolishing buildings and blowing out the windows of St Edmund’s Church.

The town’s War Memorial stands on St Bartholomew Green, commemorating 72 Southwold people who died as a result of enemy action.

Explore the Southwold’s war stories in more depth below.

The Battle of Sole Bay
The First World War
The Second World War

 
 
Cannon balls are still regularly trawled up in fishing nets off the coast of Southwold.
 
Cannon ball possibly fired during the Battle of Sole Bay
Find out about the Battle of Sole Bay by clicking the picture
ZEPP DOWN!
 

Burnt-out Zeppelin near Leiston

 
The coastal towns and villages of Suffolk were on the direct path of Zeppelin's in the Great War. Click the picture for more.

Second World War poster appealing for bedding for evacuees
Southwold began the Second War as a safe haven for London evacuees. It wasn't long before it was evacuated itself.

Click the poster to learn more about Southwold in the last war.

 
 

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Southwold Museum & Historical Society, 9 -11 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk IP18 6HZ
Tel: 01502 726097 email

A Charitable Incorporated Organisation, Registered Charity No 1159790,

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