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Author Topic: St. Martin's Battery, Dover  (Read 30621 times)

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Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2011, 18:14:09 »
Here are two AP's taken in 1940 of St Martin's Battery.  The WW2 Battery is not yet built, the emplacements are for the RML's.


St Martin's Battery 1940.


St Martin's Battery 1940.
JohnG

Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2011, 17:40:11 »
David. Today I was in Dover and had time to visit St Martins Battery to measure the distance between the rails that the loading platform ran on.  The rails are in poor condition.
Inside of rail to inside is approx 32 inches.  Outside to outside is approx 35.5 inches.  JohnG

Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2011, 12:41:34 »
David, Keep looking, I would like to see a drawing. The nearest thing I could find was the drawing I posted.  JohnG

Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2011, 12:35:53 »
Thanks JohnG.
The search goes on for a diagram/plan of a 10-inch emplacement with sunken way and moveable loading platform.
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Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2011, 12:13:59 »
David, I hope the following will be of interest to you regarding St Martins Battery.  JohnG

St.Martin's Battery

Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers Works Committee.
Minute 346      Dated. 25th. May 1886.
Report No. 26.
St.Martin?s Battery - No.2 (10-inch RML) gun should be removed and a central cartridge store made in its place.  The Mountings of No.1. and 3 guns to be adapted for high-angle fire. (Note. Proposed).

Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers Works Committee.
Minute 1330      Dated. 24th. March 1892.
Report No. 132
Table A. Detail of the Armament of Dover. Mounted 3 - 10-inch RML.

Proposed. 3 - 10-inch RML (For Long Range).

Precis of Correspondence relating to the Defence of Dover Prior to April 1893.
Date. 15-7-1886.
The Officer Commanding Royal Artillery and Commanding Royal Engineers, South-Eastern District, deprecated the dismantling of the Hospital Battery and the removal of No. 1 gun from East Demi-Bastion, stating that it would be inadvisable to reduce the armament of the sea front and that until better sites for these guns should be found, they should be left untouched.  The same observation applied to the removal of the 1 - 10-inch RML gun in St.Martin's Battery, and a good cartridge store could be made without decreasing the number of guns.
Date. 30-9-1886.
St.Martin's Battery - Although they consider the guns too close together they withdrew their proposal to remove the centre 10-inch gun provided that a secure cartridge store can be provided, as stated without doing so.
Date. 1-4-1893.
Remodelling of St.Martin's will be undertaken in 1893 - 94. (Proposal)

Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers Works Committee.  1895.
3 - 10-inch RML guns Approved and Mounted.  Proposed to replace with 2 - 10-inch BL's

Armament List of 1902 does not mention St.Martin's Battery.

No records have been found showing any guns being mounted in this Battery during World War One.

Fort Record Book for World War Two (P.R.O. WO/192/198) shows initially 3 - 6-inch Naval guns, Mk. VII on Mk. PVIII Mountings being mounted 29-9-40 with one being removed a little later.  Battery placed in care and maintenance 23-12-44.  Guns removed February 1947.


1886   The RA/RE Works Committee recommended the removal of 1 x 10 inch RML to allow improvements to the magazine accommodation.  The remaining two guns were to be adapted for high-angle fire.  This recommendation was later withdrawn.
MOD Lib., Defence Committee Report 1893.

1887   3 x 10 inch RMLs approved and mounted.
Ibid.

1892   3 x 10 inch RMLs
Ibid.

1895   3 x 10 inch RMLs approved and mounted.  It was proposed to replace these with 2 x 10 inch BLs.
MOD Lib., RA/RE Works Committee Report. 1895.

1906   No armament listed.

1940   3 x 6 inch Mk.VII on naval mountings on site of St.Martins Battery but called Western Heights Battery.

1942   Reduced to 2 x 6 inch guns.

1947   Guns removed.


Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011, 22:18:38 »
David. Thank you for the information, I do have copies of the said documents.  I have a handbook for the 10 inch RML, I must have a read through it.  I think it is the rail trunk in the picture, you can see one of the rails next to it. Next time I am in Dover I will measure the railway gauge.  JohnG.

Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2011, 10:30:46 »
Precis of Correspondence relating to the defences of Dover prior to 1893
Page 7
25.5.86: They also recommended the dismantling of the Hospital Battery and the removal of 1 - 10inch RML gun from St. Martin's Battery to allow of improving the magazine accommodation.
Page 8
25.5.86: St. Martin's Battery: Remove No.2 Gun (10-inch RML) to allow of a central cartridge store being made in its place. No.s 1 and 3 guns to be adapted for high-angle fire.
Page 10
13.9.87: St. Martin's Battery: Mounted 3-10inch RML Approved 3-10inch RML (Note:high angle mountings)
Page 16
02.04.92: Mounted St. Martin's Battery: Mounted 3-10inch RML Approved 3-10inch RML (Note: for long range)
Page 18
1.4.93: The following is a statement of the guns and mountings required at date to complete the approved armament and for which no provision has been yet made and of the present state of works in connection therewith: 10-10inch RML mountings for long range -
2 Shotyard Battery
3 St. Martin's Battery
5 Archcliff Fort
(Note remodelling of Archcliffe in hand. That of St. Martin's will be undertaken in 1893-94. No provision for work at Shotyard Battery)

The high angle mountings had rails that were up on the parapet, not at floor level. The long range mountings did not require a rail for the loading stage as this was part of the mounting as in the diagram I posted.  

Thanks for the date JohnG. This suggests that the rails were for the earlier (first) battery then modified for a c pivot without movable loading stage.

My suggestions are:
1. The modifications for high angle were not carried out.
2. The modifications for long range may not have been carried out. It required the pivot to have eight radial arms fixed to it, on the ends of which rested the racers. This was to  withstand the violent shock of recoil. Neither plans show such a pivot.
3. The rails are correct for the early pattern of C pivot sunken way emplacement with a movable loading stage. Perhaps someone can measure the gauge on a future visit to confirm that it is 2ft 10inches. Colonel Lewis writing in the journals of the R.U.S.I. in 1888 describes the moveable loading stage as:  not required in new constructions.

For clarity: Lewis describes the movable Loading stage:
A trench called a sunken loading way was cut round the front of the emplacement, where the old step had been, to a depth of 7 feet below the crest, so that the men in it were well protected. In this trench a wooden stage was arranged to run on rails of such a height that the men standing on it could reach the muzzle of the gun to enter the charge and rammer head. The ground behind  the gun was lowered so that it remained standing on a drum of irregular shape, approached in rear by a ramp, or what is better, by two or three steps. There are many emplacements of this pattern...

I am wondering if the wooden structure  in front of the gun in your photo  of the emplacement at Inchkeith is the wooden loading stage JohnG?

If anyone knows of another existing/surviving emplacement with rails for a moveable loading stage I would be pleased to hear from them.

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Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2011, 21:19:06 »
david, The only date I can find on it is 1877, this could be for a modification.  The early battery had a building behind the battery, later there was a tunnel into a magazine.  JohnG

Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2011, 19:19:18 »
I will answer my own question: The gauge should be 2ft 10inches with a width of rail of 1.75inches and depth of 3.25inches. The rails should project .75inches above the level of the concrete. The Rails needed to be kept 4.5inches from the face of the parapet to avoid fouling, and the curve could not be sharper than a radius of 8ft 6inches to the centre of the rails.

That will mean this is an example of a very early pattern of sunken way loading emplacement that was fitted with a moveable loading stage to run on the rails (not a shell truck). This was quickly  superseded by the more common  type of barbette emplacement where the loading stage was fitted to the mounting, as in the diagram I posted. Very interesting. I have not come across an existing one of these emplacements. I will try to find a diagram.

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Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2011, 18:15:33 »
Thats interesting. Now you have jogged my memory I can remember seeing them when I visited, but I did not give them much thought. Any idea what the gauge is? They are unusual for such a battery.
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Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2011, 18:06:48 »
I post again the St Martin's Battery Plan in a higher resolution.



JohnG

Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2011, 17:14:33 »
Hi David.  In my picture you can see the truck under the muzzle of the gun.  Regarding St Martin's Battery.
The rails are definitaly there and they are also shown on the plan.







I will send another copy of the plan as I have reduced this one too much.

From JohnG

Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2011, 15:57:06 »
As far as I am aware the only gun emplacements that were fitted with shell trucks and rails were the ones for high angle fire.
As St. Martins had the standard C pivot emplacement (as shown on JohnV's plan posed earlier in this thread) it would not have needed them.
If the rails for trucks were fitted then it means that the intention was to fit HA mountings, which is interesting.
Perhaps there are better plans in the National Archives to confirm this.
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Offline JohnG

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2011, 22:02:30 »
David, I agree that the 10 inch RML's were not converted for high angle or long range.  The picture I posted gives a very good idea of what the St Martin's RML's looked like. The emplacement was different to the one you posted.  At the gound level were railway lines that ran around the emplacement, these can still be seen at St Martin's.  The shells were lifted by a davit, mountings still there, on to a small truck on the rails, the truck was then pushed round to the required position under the muzzle.  The Muzzle then had a small davit to lift as seen in picture to lift the shell into position for loading. These guns may have had the davit on the gun carriage instead of the one on the muzzle
There were definitally no hight angle mountings here.

Offline david

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Re: St. Martin's Battery, Dover
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2011, 10:08:12 »
I found this sketch of a 10 inch high angle RML, It is a gun on Inchkeith in the Firth of Fort but it is exactly as the guns of St Martins would have looked.

That's a great picture JohnG but it is of the standard 10-inch dwarf mounting, the correct mounting for St. Martins Battery (minus its sunken way loading).
http://www.palmerstonforts.org.uk/art/10rml3.htm
not the high angle mounting, which looked like this:
http://www.palmerstonforts.org.uk/art/9rha.htm

In 1893 provisions were made to modify the battery to take the long range mountings (not high angle), but this was probably not done as all of the Dover RML batteries were declared obsolete when the new BL batteries at Langdon and Citadel were proposed.
The long range mounting looked like this:
http://www.palmerstonforts.org.uk/art/10rml4.htm
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