Loch Ewe – Wester Ross
Loch Ewe has a side many people are unaware of; this beautiful north-facing loch in Wester Ross was used as a convoy collecting point with a strong naval presence during WW11. Loch Ewe is a natural deep-water sea loch that links to the Atlantic Ocean via a relatively “narrow mouth” which made it easier to protect the loch from enemy submarines. There was one Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery and one troop from a light Anti-Aircraft Battery stationed at Loch Ewe, about 12 officers and 380 men altogether. It was in February 1941, when the loch became a convoy collecting point, that its presence became permanent. 379 Battery of the 101 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment had the longest stay, from 1941 to 1942. There were plenty of air raid warnings, but attacks on the base were rare. According to the battery war diaries, the guns were fired only a few times each month, usually at reconnaissance planes.
This coastal battery is situated at Rubha Nan Sasan, at the end of a track from Cove. The battery observation post, two gun-emplacements, two searchlight emplacements, engine rooms, magazine are all extant. In an area some 100m to the SW are many hut bases, which formed the accommodation camp for those serving at the battery. The battery was armed with 2 x 6-inch MkVII guns on Naval mountings from HMS Iron Duke, which were installed in July 1941. The battery was placed on care and maintenance in April 1945 and it has been suggested that the gun barrels from the mountings were rolled into the sea, but there is no evidence to support this.
A memorial to the 3000 men who died on the Arctic convoys near the Cove Battery was unveiled on 10th September 1999
“IN MEMORY OF OUR SHIPMATES
WHO SAILED FROM LOCH EWE DURING WORLD WAR II
THEY LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE BITTER ARCTIC SEA BATTLES
TO NORTH RUSSIA AND NEVER RETURNED TO THIS TRANQUIL ANCHORAGE.
WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THEM.”
Ref: J Guy 2000; NMRS MS 810/10, Vol.1, 57, Vol.3, 28-31