The discovered artefacts of WW1 at Helens Bay, Co Down

The Department of Environment has finished their discovery for artefacts of First World War at the Grey Point Fort, Helens Bay, Co Down. And they now uncovered their discovery of the WW1 artefacts after the five weeks of digging at Grey Point Fort.

Mark H. Durkan, Environment Minister, commented on the excavation. He said: “Grey Point Fort is one of our hidden gems perched above the coastal walk on the shores of Belfast Lough. The five week excavation has uncovered many outer defensive features associated with the early construction phases of the fort, which were subsequently used and enhanced both to defend the fort and train local soldiers during World War One.”

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency found there a dug defined with corrugated iron. They also found the trenches which had a rough constructed base and there was one machine gun emplacement along their length. To focus on a WW1 site, the first archaeological excavation which was made in the area by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency observed that there were trenches more than 200 metres. The archaeologist believe that the WW1 discovered artefacts such as stump of a block house then barbed wire entanglements were constructed some time before the Second World War.

A  NIEA project is presently doing there further research on the extent of Grey Point Fort site which is a coastal defence battery. And this is much larger than any of the remains found in the central fort. At the time of First World War near about five soldiers who served and trained at Grey Point Fort lost their lives. There In St. John’s church, Helens Bay a credence table was raised in the honour of these soldiers, the UTV Live News reports.

The Department Of Environment (DOE) said: “The information gathered about this site has proved invaluable and NIEA plan to use it to develop the visitor experience at the site.”

The SDLP MLA stated: “Through this dig we have gained a better understanding of the fort’s history. The trenches and barbed wire uncovered by the archaeologist are reminders of the horrors of war, especially poignant in this centenary year of the outbreak of World War One.”

On Tuesday at 11:30 am a Remembrance Day was organised at the site, where a symbolic firing of one of the two Vickers 6 inch bore guns also took place.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE