A report for English Heritage
The East Coast War Channels (ECWCs) are the carefully defined routes that were swept of mines between the Thames and the border with Scotland in both the First and Second World Wars. These routes formed the main seaways for the vast amount of civilian shipping that was necessary to meet the country’s domestic needs and to continue fighting. The channels were swept by minesweepers, and an array of other minor warships were engaged in maintaining and defending traffic. Many of the minesweepers and other minor warships were fishing vessels requisitioned by the Admiralty; but fishing also continued and fishing vessels themselves were subject to attack. The combination of merchant vessels, fishing vessels and minor warships traversing the East Coast War Channels in the First and Second World Wars is the focus of this project.
To date, the ECWCs – like other maritime aspects of C20th conflicts – have fallen through a gap in heritage protection. Despite the effort and sacrifice of all those who endured and were lost during the First and Second World Wars in the ECWCs, they have largely been forgotten. Hopefully, this project is a step towards remembering them. Follow link below to download full report.