News: The modern name of Kent is derived from the Brythonic word kantos meaning "rim" or "border", or possibly from a homonymous word kanto "horn, hook"
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Author Topic: kent anti-aircraft batteries  (Read 52044 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2018, 15:05:52 »
Once situated in Watling Street opposite Woodlands Road Gillingham, this site is now occupied by Rotary Gardens.



Offline Signals99

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2015, 11:12:18 »
Well thanks to all who contributed to this blog.interesting to hear about the gun pit at fort Clarence
So it was not a gun site at the fort,just a training facility,I know this is off topic .but it may be of interest to someone,As stated I was a member of the TA unit at the fort Clarence drill hall for some time,I held the rank of tecnical store man,among the stores held there was a collection of wooden model  bridges and some larger box shaped models,over the intervening years I have become convinced thay  may have been a model of the 'mulberry'harbour 'scheme,any idea s as to there whereabouts today?

Offline peterchall

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #48 on: November 15, 2015, 20:57:32 »
Thanks Grandarog. Even after 3&1/2 years we can still get answers :) :)
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Offline grandarog

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #47 on: November 15, 2015, 20:17:45 »


I'm puzzled by the 2 Wattisham sites listed in Reply #3, because the only Wattisham that I know of was/is an RAF station in Norfolk! Any ideas?

I think the A and B sites in the list have slipped in from a Suffolk list.

http://www.pastscape.org.uk/maps.aspx?a=0&hob_id=1473652

Offline Maid of Kent

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2015, 17:59:32 »
Here is the full list for you peterchall.

Was interested to see this list too as it mentions several at the top around where I live (Thorpe Bay) so I will be taking the list to the Military History group that I belong to and we will go on a rece - slightly off topic I know - forgive me!

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2015, 16:51:52 »
Hi all  just out of interest when I joined 590 STRE (E o d) in the mid fifties at fort Clarence there were two  A/A guns plus a search light.
Their removal took place about a year after I jolned, but looking at the list of sites it appears not to have been a battery as such?any ideas.

Hi Signals99, in the run-up to WW2 most of the TA Centres in the Medway Towns were bases for anti-aircraft batteries of the RA TA. As such they would have had guns emplaced as training facilities. I recall when the Fort Clarence TA Centre was refurbished a few years ago a Bofers gun pit was discovered sunk into the floor under the Drill Hall. There was a similar set up inside the TA Drill Hall at Watling Street Gillingham. In 1939 the TA units in Medway included 166 (City of Rochester) AA Battery RA TA, 308 (City of Rochester) AA Battery RA TA, and 313 (Kent) AA Company RE TA at Watling Street Gillingham. In addition there were four ATS companies: 1st Kent ATC Coy at Fort Clarence, 2nd Kent Coy ATS at Watling Street Gillingham, 44th Kent Coy ATS at Boundary Road Chatham and 45th Kent Coy ATS also at Gillingham.

Offline peterchall

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2015, 12:24:05 »
Hi Signals99. The rented premises I lived in at Fort Clarence was one of the Warder’s quarters shown in the plan in the thread on Fort Clarence (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=864.msg15953#msg15953) - it was actually attached to a building consisting of rows of cells each side of a central gangway, accessed by a door at the back of the kitchen. It was on the right of the road going through the fort from Rochester Maidstone Road to Borstal Road, and we used the Maidstone Road entrance. We were there from sometime after April 1952 to July 1953 (so a bit longer than the 6 months mentioned in my previous post) and the address was 5 Fort Clarence, Rochester. I was in the RAF from April to November 1952, and then both my wife and I were working, and I don’t think we ever ventured further in to the fort, so can’t comment on the location of those AA guns, which I assume were for training purposes. As I said, there was a searchlight there during the war – we were close enough to hear the generator, and tts stray light lit up Troy Town like daylight, rather disconcerting with an enemy plane overhead!

An army corporal and his family occupied the other Warder’s quarter.

In case anyone is wondering how I came to be renting an army property, its proper occupant was an army sergeant who was a customer in the Foresters Arms run by my father. He was posted abroad and sub-let it to us – we paid the rent into his bank account. Please don’t ask me to comment on the legality of that – I trusted the arrangement brokered between my father and the sergeant and was only too pleased to get out of the ‘shared with parents’ accommodation of the Foresters. We did have a phone number in Brompton Barracks to contact in emergency – which we had to on one occasion when we had a wiring problem – so there must have been some legality about it!
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Offline Signals99

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2015, 01:48:15 »
Information ref A/A guns fort Clarence .Hi Peterchall yes thay were 3.7fixed amunition guns ,one was mounted between the garages and the large canteen hut (later transformed in to living accomadation for the civilian care takers,and possibly your home to be) the other one was on the bank at the rear of the drill hall both appeared to be permanent mountings, for years the fire alarm bell that stod outside the main garage doors was a 3.7 cartridge  case suspended from a small gallows type stand.
Point of interest for years there was a large semi circular dent in the wooden floor of the drill hall,it was caused when one of our officers opened rhe breech of a training breech assembly that was fully elivated ,a drill round dropped out  ,causing the afore mentioned dent.

Offline peterchall

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2015, 08:06:52 »
There was a searchlight at Fort Clarence during the war, but never fixed AA guns – I lived within a couple of hundred yards from the fort and for about 6 months in 1953 I lived in rented accommodation in the fort itself (it was my first marital home).

All I can suggest is that the guns and searchlight were in storage – do you know what size guns they were? (3.7” or Bofors, for example).
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Offline Signals99

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2015, 01:56:48 »
Hi all  just out of interest when I joined 590 STRE (E o d) in the mid fifties at fort Clarence there were two  A/A guns plus a search light.
Their removal took place about a year after I jolned, but looking at the list of sites it appears not to have been a battery as such?any ideas.

Offline Knouterer

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2014, 14:59:40 »
Heavy AA batteries. SouthEast.  1940.
D1 Fathingloe battery.Dover: Four 3.7in
D2 Swingate battery. Dover:  Four 3.7in (later5.25in)
D3 Frith Farm battery. Dover: four 3.7in (later 5.25in)
D4 St.Radigunds battery. Dover: Four 3.7in.
D5 Dover harbour battery: Two 3in. (Built during WW1 and also used in WW2)
D6 Hawkshill Down. Walmer
D7 Sandown Castle. Deal.
D8 Chalksole Farm, Margate.
D9 Ozengell Grange. Ramsgate.
D10 Cleve Court. Manston
D11 Hope Farm. Capel.
D12 Ridge Row. Densole.
D13 Copt Point. Folkestone.
D14 Coolinge. Folkestone.
D15 Pedlinge Court. Hythe.
D16 Arpinge Farm. West of Hawkinge.

Roy Humphreys, Target Folkestone, 1990, states on pages 12 and 31 that Battery A of the 1st Royal Marine HAA Regt arrived at Hope Farm in April 1940, staying until December, and occupied sites D11, D12, D14 and D16. These RM batteries had 8 guns so that would have meant two 3" 20 cwt guns (plus a Lewis gun or two) per site. It seems to tally (more or less) with the known history of the MNBDO I (Mobile Naval Base Defence Organization).

Offline cptpies

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2012, 18:50:29 »
It is the original Cassini refs that he (Dobinson) was relating to.

I was aware of that Islesy, it's just a word of warning that the modern conversions haven't had the same stringent measures applied to them.
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Offline Islesy

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2012, 10:05:24 »
It is the original Cassini refs that he (Dobinson) was relating to.
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Offline cptpies

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2012, 14:38:14 »
Prior to the Gazetteer, Dobinson points out that any references given that differ by more than 100 metres are listed as sometimes sites were moved and swapped about. He makes the point that map references were critical in this period and highly accurate, a clerk that transposed a map reference incorrectly could face a period in the slammer as punishment!
The book is excellent peterchall, well worth the price.

That may apply to the Cassini refs but not to the NGR's in the Gazeteer. I can vouch personally for that, having manually added all these to the DoB overlay. There were at least 10 incorrect NGR's that had transposed numbers or even letters. I corrected the majority of them through a process of trial and error.
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Offline Islesy

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Re: kent anti-aircraft batteries
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2012, 08:43:07 »
But not that price!!
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