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Goodwin Sands - Battle of Britain War Graves Imminent Threat


Goodwin Sands SOS has been campaigning for over 2 years to stop Dover Harbour Board dredging the Goodwins for sand to use as land-fill aggregate for a dock redevelopment. Despite our best efforts the Marine Management Organisation granted the dredging licence at the end of July and we are now fund-raising for a Judicial Review.


The iconic Sands are the graveyard of innumerable mariners and over 2 thousand ships but they are also the final resting place of over 60 planes and 80 aircrew from the Battle of Britain alone. They also contain the remains of other military aircraft: in August this year one of our diving contacts found this bomber which has remained undiscovered since the War. 


Despite being surveyed twice by Dover Harbour Board's archaeological contractor, it was not identified as an aircraft crash-site but merely as a 'seafloor disturbance'.    


We hope that you will share our disgust that the final resting places of brave aircrew who gave their lives in service to their country could be threatened by a dredge-head. Many senior Military personnel we have spoken with believe that CWGC has responsibility for these sites, but unfortunately this is not the case. 


Although the existence of a high density of military air crash sites in the Goodwin Sands area is well known, we feel JCCC have failed in their responsibility to protect previously undiscovered sites as they considered 'there was insufficient evidence of the presence of wrecks / remains in the area of the proposed dredging to justify either designation or to raise an objection'. Clearly the evidence obtained by Goodwin Sands SOS from a single dive proves otherwise.


In addition to the site discovered by the diver in August, there are another 30 similarly graded (geophysically) sites in the dredge zone, yet no-one appears to be prepared to undertake a visual inspection (this process is called ground-truthing in maritime archaeology circles) to establish if these other sites could possibly be debris fields from air-crash sites, pieces of old ships, ancient anchors or even UXO.  

The Marine Management Organisation has specified a paltry 25m Archaeological Exclusion Zone around these other sites; as an RAF man, you will be far better versed than I am to comment on the size of a debris field from a Flying Fortress as an example (4 remain undiscovered in the Sands) -  the potential damage to Protected Places by the actions of a dredger does not bear thinking about, especially as debris-fields are hard to establish, a dredger could go right through one.......


Goodwin Sands SOS even alerted the relevant American authorities to the aircraft discovered in August. Despite an 'agreement' between the UK & USA, actually informing the USA about potential dredging in an area where a high level of conflict & losses occurred in WW2, had not been undertaken. 


We are now reaching out to as many Military organisations and associations as possible as we have recently launched a CrowdJustice campaign, to raise funds for our case.


We appreciate that you and your organisation may not be in a position to support us financially, if so we would still hope that you could please forward this email and the link to our fund-raising page to as many of your contacts, friends and associates as possible.


Thank you so much for your time and consideration



Kind regards


Fiona Punter
Mobile: + 44 (0)7865 151 460



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