Living Coasts http://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/ is currently home until 16 November 2016 to a fascinating exhibition Forgotten Wrecks of WW1 http://forgottenwrecks.maritimearchaeologytrust.org/
The Forgotten Wrecks exhibition looks to raise the profile of under-represented aspects of the First World War. Over 700 wartime wrecks are known to lie off the south coast of England.
These include largely forgotten ships and crafts of all shapes and sizes. Catch the exhibition at Living Coasts before it departs on 16th November 2016.
Wrecks of course make fascinating artificial reef habitats for marine wildlife.
We must never forget though that many of these wrecks are also war graves.
This is something that struck me during my research into wartime zoo staff and also my Cornish coastal village war memorial when visiting the Tower Hill Memorial for Merchant Navy crews and Plymouth Naval War Memorial, both monuments to those with no known graves except the sea.
The families of Torquay and Brixham along with Cornwall and many other coastal communities would have seriously disrupted by the submarine warfare affecting the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy shipping and fishing fleets.
Living Coasts also overlooks the site of not only a D-Day ‘hard’ embarkation point but also a short-lived WW1 former RAF / RNAS flying boat station. http://devonairfields.hampshireairfields.co.uk/torq.html
The hangers of this floatplane station were apparently sold off as war surplus after the First World War to the canny Herbert Whitley to become bird aviaries at his fledgling Paignton Zoo!
Find out more about visiting this Forgotten Wrecks exhibition at Living Coasts:
I must make time to get up to Torquay and see this Forgotten Wrecks exhibition before it finishes on 16 November 2016 at the always fascinating Living Coasts!
Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo.