Storm Exposes Historic Shipwreck and WW2 Coastal Defences

The remains of the Jeune Hortense, a French brigantine which ran aground more than 130 years ago, have once again been revealed thanks to a storm that recently caused chaos on the south Cornish coast.

Second World War defenses after the sand shifted were also exposed by the storm which battered Long Rock Beach, known for its beauty and impressive views.

The brigantine was forced onto the beach on May 17, 1888, as it attempted to deliver the body of a local man following his death in France.  A carriage and horse dragged Penzance lifeboat Dora to the location so that the crew could then row to the brigantine and save the four Frenchmen on board.

The ship was also transporting 450 head of cattle, most of which were eventually also rescued.  The Jeune Hortense was not as fortunate since it was impossible to refloat the vessel, Cornwall Live reported.

Sea defenses that were used in preparation for an enemy attack, which included scaffolding to foil enemy tanks coming ashore, mines and barbed wire, were also exposed by the storm.

Ian Harvey

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