The Solway Military Coast book


Based on oral history accounts and comprehensive research, this book charts the military history of the Solway area post World War One.

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The Solway Military Coast

A Story of Conflict, Courage and Community

by Sarah Harper (2018)


The fast running tides of the Solway Firth have ebbed and flowed for thousands of years, but, in the last one hundred years the role of the Solway hinterland has changed even more dramatically than those turning tides.

By the late 1930s, Fascism had gripped Germany and was spreading across Europe.  The British Government began to prepare for battle, both for military purposes and to protect citizens from potential invasion.  Once again, attention would be turned to the Solway Coast to mobilise for this time of need.  This western portion of the Borderland would rise to the occasion just as it had in the First World War and play a mighty party in the defence of the United Kingdom.

Paperback, 135 pages with photographs and images throughout



Chapter 1 – Life after HM Factory Gretna.  The Ministry of Defence Depots – Eastriggs and Longtown

Chapter 2 – Munitions Memories.  Imperial Chemicals Industry (ICI) Powfoot

Chapter 3 – Far from Home.  Evacuees, Barnardo’s Boys and Prisoners of War

Chapter 4 – War comes to Gretna.  The Gretna Bombing.

Chapter 5 – Solway Skies.  RAF Annan.

Chapter 6 – Chapelcross and the Cold War.  Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station.