World Wars I & II (1914–45)
East Lothian played an important role in both the First and Second World Wars in Britain.
East Fortune airship station was established in 1915–16 as a major element of the strategic network protecting the British coastline. Like Drem Airfield and Penston Aerodrome, it also took on a key role during the Second World War, when East Lothian often found itself on the front line.
The remains of anti-tank traps and coastal defences are also visible reminders of the impact of the wars on East Lothian. The following military remains are readily accessible and a good introduction the World War I and II remains in the county:
- anti-tank traps at Gosford Sands
- observation posts on North Berwick Law
- anti-glider defences located within the estuary at Hedderwick Sands
To find out about other sites check out the Heritage Explorer 2 leaflet.
Find out more about East Lothian’s more embattled histories in our section on War, Battles & Military history.
In 2014 the Centenary of the First World War starts. We are keen to hear from anyone who has any histories to share about the war, whether it’s your grandfather’s experiences or the part your home town played. Alastair Shepherd, local historian, has produced a very informative website about the memorial at Yester. If you have any similar projects on the go, do tell us about them!
Please leave a comment below, or come and talk to us at the John Gray Centre if you’d like to share a story.