Flat Holm island has had two military occupations. First in the 1860’s and again in 1940 during world war 2.

In the 1850’s, Queen Victoria & Prince Albert visited france where they became concerned about the strength of the French Navy. The Royal Commission of 1860, under the direction of Lord Palmerston recommended fortification of the coast. Flat Holm formed part of a strategic coastal defence system, a number of fortresses built across the Bristol Channel to protect the ports of Newport, Cardiff & Bristol.

Flat Holm was re-fortified after 1940 despite the heaviest raids on Cardiff being over. 350 men were stationed on the island and in addition to new building being built, existing buildings were adapted for use. The Cholera Hospital was turned into a NAAFI, cinema & concert hall, where films were shown fortnightly and concerts laid on monthly. The farmhouse was used as the officer’s mess.


  • Heather Matheson, September 5, 2020 @ 20:39

    My Mum was a dance teacher in Cardiff and during WW2 she would take her dancers by boat to entertain the guys on the island!

  • Martin Williams, June 27, 2013 @ 21:35

    The pics on the site here are v/interesting, i wonder if theres any pics in existance of the *soldiers ? Im interesting as my late father was one of the 350 soldiers stationed on flat holm dureing ww2. Id love to own / live there as im a radio ham and it would be a superb location, as hf radio suffers from *electrical interferance, NO NEIGHBOURS !!!
    Be brilliant. Thanks for the superb pics id love to see many more.

    best regards / martin williams {call > GW0OUV} Nelson, s-wales cf466ns {7}

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