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World War One Audit of Surviving Remains

Date 8 August 2013

Event ID 963160

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type World War One Audit of Surviving Remains


In 1917 it was decided that the United States and Britain would jointly create a barrier of mines between Scotland and Norway to restrict the movement into the Atlantic of German submarines.

The United States Navy established two naval bases, at Inverness (Naval Base 18) and Invergordon (Naval Base 17), where mines, shipped in pieces from the United States to the west coast of Scotland, were assembled, by US naval personnel, prior to being loaded onto American mine-laying ships. Two bases had to be established because Inverness Harbour was not large enough to accommodate enough mine-laying ships at once.

The mines were landed from the United States at Kyle of Lochalsh (from where up to 2,000 mines a week were moved by train to Invergordon) and Corpach (from where up to 1,500 mines a week were shipped through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness).

A small base was established at Corpach, at the southern end of the Caledonian Canal, and a large house, known as Ravensdale, was requisitioned to accommodate the officers and men. The mine landing station was provided with protection in the form of a coast defence battery at Corran Ferry.

The site of the base is unlocated but the former Second World War site of HMS Christopher (see NN07NE 39) may be the former US naval base.

Information from HS/RCAHMS World War One Audit Project (GJB) 5 August 2013.

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