I’m pleased to announce that at long last Volume 23 of the Journal of the Ordnance Society has been published. From the point of view of the HDC it contains a paper “The artillery of the Great War anti-invasion defences of the Swale area of Kent” by Alan Anstee a member of the HDC. This illustrated work is the culmination of several years research, both independently and as part of Kent County Council’s Swale 20th century Defence Project.
It is an analysis of the artillery that would have been available for home defence throughout the war. The role of the various guns is discussed, together with their range and the ammunition available, and also looks at the fire role assigned to many of the batteries both fixed and mobile. The topography of the area and the defences is discussed, as are the sources available and the command and a control.
New Tavern Fort (armed from the 1780s-1908) on Gravesend’s riverside displays a regionally important collection of 12 pieces of historic artillery. All are relevant to the site, whether as authentic re-arming of its phases of development or representative of other defences in the district at various dates. The Historic Defences Committee have been pleased to respond to a request from their friends at the fort with an offer of guidelines for continuing maintenance for the guns. This follows information supplied by the HDC at an earlier stage.
The fort is well worth a visit. This is both because of the display of guns and on account of the innovative way in which the magazines have been historically refurnished and re-equipped. Details of the opening dates and times for the August-September period will be advised.