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Sunk Head Tower

Official Name

HM Fort Sunk Head Tower

Code Name

Uncle Two (U2)


51.46.51 North

1.30.21 East

9.74 nautical miles (11.2 miles) from Frinton-on-Sea, Essex


Commissioned 1st May 1942,but grounding was delayed until  1st June 1942 whilst the Admiralty were considering alternative Radar equipment, although this idea was later dropped.

WW2 Military use

Navy Sea Fort

Post WW2 Military use

Decommissioned on 14th June 1945 and reduced to care and maintenance until 1956 when it was abandoned.

Stations Housed

Tower Radio/Radio Tower

Trinity House briefly considered taking over this Fort to use as a lighthouse to mark the outer end of the Sunk Head Sands at the Barrow Channel, but concerns that any settling of the Fort on the seabed - making it list - would upset the lights, meant that the idea wasn’t pursued

Sunk Head Fort  was used by Tower Radio/Radio Tower between October 1965 and April 1966. When the project ran out of money they abandoned Sunk Head leaving behind a virtually new generator and all the broadcast equipment.

Unlike some of the other forts, Sunk Head was clearly well outside territorial waters  and when the Marine Etc Broadcasting (Offences) Act came into effect in August 1967 the Government was anxious to ensure that it wouldn’t be  taken over again by an offshore broadcaster.

On 18th August 1967 Sunk Head was boarded by a contingent of the 24th Field Squadron of Royal Engineers from Maidstone from the tug Collie, under the command of Major David Ives.The Fort was weakened by acetylene cutting torches and 3,200 pounds of explosives were set. On 21st August 1967 Sunk Head was blown up, leaving  20 feet of the leg stumps remaining.

Sunk Head Fort Demolition of Sunk Head Fort 1967 Demolition of Sunk Head Fort 1967 Demolition of Sunk Head Fort 1967 Demolition of Sunk Head Fort 1967

Top left: the Navy demolition party approach on the tug Collie

Top right: the fuses are set

Centre left: fuses have been activated

Centre right: the explosion

Bottom left: all that is left of Sunk Head Fort

Photo: jingleweb.nl

Sea Structures

Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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