World War 2 Battery (Gunsite) at Butt Farm
H31 comprises 4 brick-built Gun Emplacements arranged in an arc around a semi-submerged Command Post. This Battery became operational during 1941 with four 3.7 inch guns operated by men of the 62 HAA Regiment. The remaining roles on the site were undertaken entirely by women of the ATS ( Auxiliary Territorial Service ) who would carry out all operations, except for those associated directly with the guns.
The gun site or Battery, known as H31, was one of about 50 permanent gun sites located on both sides of the River Humber during the War. The Humber area had been identified as a location to be defended by guns against anticipated enemy aerial attack. In fact, Hull was heavily targeted and subjected to 82 raids in which there were around 1200 civilian fatalities and 87,000 houses damaged.
The Battery would have had up to 300 permanent personnel, of which about half would have been female. Most of the accommodation huts were located on what is now the Caravan Site.
At the end of the War, this site was selected as one of a small number of gun batteries, known as the Nucleus Force, to be retained for use in the event of any subsequent enemy action. By the mid 1950's, with the advent of missile technology, it was declared redundant. Since then the site, being unsuitable for any useful agricultural use, was abandoned and became overgrown.
When taking over Butt Farm in 2014, we realised that we had inherited an important and rare piece of our nation's military heritage. Since then we have, with the assistance of the St Cuthbert’s Scout group Hull cleared much of the rubbish and vegetation. We are shortly to undertake the next phase of our restoration programme with the assistance of Historic England which involves fencing, grazing and putting information boards around the site for people to understand what the purpose of each building was during the war.
The gun site is available for anyone staying on the campsite to gain access and have a look around. We also open for Heritage Open Days so please get in touch for details.