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Author Topic: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery  (Read 2837 times)

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Offline JohnG

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 22:52:07 »
If you look at the 1946 aerial photographs, the area what looks like two searchlight emplacements, just to the west of the fort, if the searchlights were placed to the east of the battery when the two guns were traversed to fire down the river the guns would have been behind the searchlights.  Would this be a reason for placing them to the west?

Offline cptpies

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 15:50:00 »
I guess it could have housed a small searchlight like a Lyon light. It only had to reach across the estuary after all.
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Offline grandarog

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 09:08:13 »
Some one on Google earth has tagged the structure with the RSJ,s sticking up as  "Shorne Light" is that of any help.On one of the dated photos on GE it looks like there could have been some sort of shed type thing inside the walls.

Offline cptpies

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 08:01:27 »
This is definitely not a pillbox. The render on the top of the walls suggest this was their original height and the RSJs would suggest supports for a roof. My guess is this is an observation post. It's too small for a standard coastal searchlight.
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Offline JohnG

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 23:15:46 »
Hello Kentishwolf, I have not seen this structure on the ground but could it be a partly demolished pillbox. How does it compare in size with the near by pillbox?  johng

Offline Kentishwolf

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 07:17:39 »
Hello JohnG,
I am no expert on holdfasts, so you could be right. I was going by the info on the Kent HER. Sorry, I do not have anything on any of the other forts. I have visited a few around the Hoo Peninsula but others have put far better information up than I have. Attached is a photograph of the reported pillbox, what are your thoughts?
Kentishwolf
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Offline JohnG

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 20:17:25 »
Hello Kentishwolf.  Thank you for the information.  There were normally two searchlights attached to a coast battery of this calibre and sometimes a pillbox on each flank.  Are you sure the holdfast on the roof is for a Bofors, could it be for a PomPom?  I can see the pillbox on the Google Earth and the remains of what you describe as a possible searchlight emplacement.  Do you have any details of any other of the Thames coast batteries?  Thanks again.  johng

Offline Kentishwolf

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Re: Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 07:56:06 »
JohnG,
You are correct, the gun-houses are no longer visible, anything that may remain would be under the later flood defences. There are however a few remains. There is an octagonal pillbox, part buried in the sea wall and another structure, that is listed on the Defence of Britain database as a pillbox, but I think it is for another purpose, possibly for a coast defence searchlight for the battery?
On the roof of Shornemead there are the remains of the Battery Observation Post. It is in a collapsed state, probably used as training by the Royal Engineers demolitions school which used the site. There is also the holdfast for a Bofors 40mm Light Anti-Aircraft gun on the roof, which I presume was local air defence for the battery.
Kentishwolf
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Offline JohnG

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Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 22:17:03 »
Looking through the Coast Battery section I could not see any mention of Shornmead WW2 Coast Battery.  There was a Coast Battery just to the east of Shornmead Fort.  The battery was armed with two 5.5-inch guns.  On the other side of the river there were another two 5.5-inch guns installed on Coalhouse Fort.  There is an interesting photograph of one of the Shornmead guns being manned by soldiers all dressed in pantomime costumes, the battery was called to acting stations while the gun crews were performing a pantomime.  There does not appear to be anything of this battery, this is partly because of the building of the sea wall.  I apologize if this has been covered before.  johng

 

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