On the morning of September 3rd 1940 at 06:20 am a Whitley mark 5 bomber ditched on the low water mark close to the beacon on the Margate side of the Nayland Rock. The reason for the landing was because the bomber had run out of fuel after returning from a raid on Geneo, Italy. The crew a bit shaken and wet were unhurt.
For the remainder of the second world war the wreckage remained and was scrapped soon after the war. Unfortunately the removal was incomplete and wreckage of the fuselage and part of the cockpit remained buried in the sand. The exact location of the wreckage was about 100metres slightly to the North East behind (seaward) of the old Nayland beacon, which it just a stump that can be seen at low water today. The current beacon today is a new one and is actually on the Nayland Rock itself and just happens to be situated close to the ribs of a wooden wreck.
During the 1990's the sand on the wrecksite started to shift for reasons unknown and pieces of wreckage started to appear, lighter pieces were washing up alongside the Nayland Rock where the sand meets with the rocks and pieces were also found behind the sun deck pool. Some pieces were stamped "AW" which were the initials of the manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth.
On one very low spring tide in 1997 I did very well and found most of the items as seen in the newspaper article. At the time they were blackened and looked awful, but I managed to clean them up using rhubarb. The method was simple, I worked out the shape and dug it in the soil, then I used a dustbin bag to line the hole and placed the item on top. I then boiled up loads of Rhubarb I had already growing in the garden and covered the parts. After a couple of days the rhubarb had turned black. After removing the item and bag I buried the Rhubarb and cleaned the aluminium part. It was almost as clean as a whistle.
Later I donated the parts I found in 1997 to the Margate Museum collection and the remainder to the Manston History club.
Today small pieces can still be found around the Nayland Rock area, they are distinguished by the rivet holes and if you are lucky, "AW" or manufacturing part numbers.