6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

Move over Bayeux, this is the Whitstable Tapestry!

PUBLISHED: 11:36 13 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:36 13 February 2018

A detail from The Whitstable Tapestry

A detail from The Whitstable Tapestry

Archant

Community group The Forgotten Frontline, cartoonist Dave Chisholm and historian Mark Harrison have created The Whitstable Tapestry, on display all year

A collaboration between community group The Forgotten Frontline, cartoonist Dave Chisholm and historian Mark Harrison has resulted in the creation of The Whitstable Tapestry, depicting the defence works and fortifications that were constructed along the coast during the Second World War.

Sponsors and supporters of the splendid 3.5m long cartoon gathered for the grand unveiling at The Sportsman Restaurant in Seasalter, which features in the historically and archaeologically accurate depiction of the anti-invasion defences that were built along the coast between the Michelin-starred restaurant and Whitstable Harbour.

The Sportsman’s location puts it in the thick of this ‘Coastal Crust’ which consisted of minefields, tank traps, road blocks, barbed wire entanglements, pill boxes, miles of ‘Z1’defence scaffolding and many other ingenious methods designed to thwart the expected invasion.

On 27 September 1940 soldiers of The London Irish Rifles, who were billeted at The Sportsman, exchanged fire with the crew of a Junkers 88 bomber that had been shot down and crash landed near the pub.

The Battle of Graveney Marsh was the last ground engagement involving a foreign force on the British mainland. After a German crewman was shot in the foot the Germans surrendered, and everyone retired to the pub for beers. The Junkers, fitted with innovative radar equipment, was of great use to military intelligence.

The Whitstable Tapestry depicts the battle, plus many other wartime events that took place along the five-mile stretch of coast. Removal of huge parachute mines from deep intertidal silt, developmental flame warfare technology, camouflage methods and depictions of the various defence services are all included.

The piece has been dubbed The Whitstable Tapestry after similar scenes shown on The Bayeux Tapestry, such as William Duke of Normandy ordering engineers and troops to construct defence works at Hastings.

The exact configuration of the Second World War defences has been pieced together by The Forgotten Frontline’s painstaking research into the fragments that remain, contemporary photos, written and verbal eye-witness reports, Home Guard and other maps, German and British aerial photographs and newspaper articles.

The use of demolition records is considered to be a groundbreaking research methodology that has allowed the team to produce an extremely accurate illustration. The project was funded by Kent County Council and boosted by an array of helpers and supporters.

The Whitstable Tapestry will be on display in The Whitstable Museum and Gallery throughout 2018. Its use in school workshops and community groups will prove a fun and colourful way to broaden the appeal of The Forgotten Frontline’s incredible history.

More from Out & About

Friday, July 19, 2019

Kent has many castles and stately homes, but we have hand selected the ten best castles in Kent for you to visit

Read more

Nicknamed 'The Bubble', we take a look at a place famous for oysters, pristine pebble beaches and stunning sunsets. Whitstable really is one of kind

Read more

Our county town has always had a lot to offer, blending a riverside setting and important history with a modern town centre and an expanding population

Read more

Smallhythe Place is celebrating a triple milestone this summer with a special exhibition and live performances

Read more
Friday, June 28, 2019

From an underground, shell-covered cave to one of the world's smallest theatres, Margate has so much to see and do. We have gathered some great things to do when you visit

Read more

Put away your digital devices and get back to nature with a few nights under canvas and the starry night skies this summer

Read more
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Kent has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit and throughout the open garden season you'll find an array of stunning choices. Here's a selection of our favourites

Read more
April 2019
Monday, June 24, 2019

Enjoy a short urban walk rather than a country stroll this month, as we follow the course of the ancient Pent stream

Read more
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Try our pick of some of Kent's best boat trips: With everything from a wildlife spotting jaunt down the Stour to a jetboat adventure on the Medway, there's something for everyone

Read more
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kent has many villages that exude historical charm and a traditional village atmosphere beloved by locals and visitors. Here we pick 10 of the prettiest to explore

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life