Gilkicker Anti-Aircraft Gun Site
Gilkicker AA Gun Site, designated P3, was one of three AA gun sites built at Gosport as part of the Portsmouth Anti Aircraft defences. The other two were were completed at Holbrook and Browndown. Although it was named Gilkicker AA battery it was a considerable distance from Fort Gilkicker and Gilkicker Point. The Stokes Bay Gilkicker AA site site was north of the modern Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Station. Gilkicker AA Gun Site held four 4.5-inch static AA guns in 1942 (one source states that at first two of them were mobile 3.7inch guns). No surface features of the site remain, although the four concrete bases on which the guns stood can sometimes been seen underneath the grass in dry weather.
The Gun Operations Room for Gosport AA defence was in Fort Monckton whilst the Master Gun Operations Room (Sector Control) for the entire Solent Sector was in Fort Fareham.
These batteries came under the command of 35th Anti-Aircraft Brigade: (Solent master gun operations room at Fort Fareham), Hampshire - Southern Area, Southern Command. The guns themselves may have been manned by
57th (Wessex) Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. (T.A.) - Southern Area, Southern Command
214/215th (Gosport and Fareham) Bty: Gosport.
R/457 (Gosport) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery RA(TA) No 6 Company Gosport
The site with the four concrete emplacements just visible.
One of the concrete emplacements just visible in December 2008
|3.7-inch AA gun of the type possibly deployed early on at Gilkicker AA Battery.
|| 214/57th HAA Regiment, C section at Gilkicker AA Gunsite. Keith Peters (sitting front centre next to the Sergeant). Photo (c) kindly supplied by John Peters.
To the north of the four gun emplacements was a hutted camp probably part of the D-Day embarkation slipway facilities, also used by the WWII Anti-Aircraft battery. After the War it was used by the Territorials as a weekend training facility until they moved to Browndown Camp in 1959. The huts remained until at least 1976. The gun site concrete was reported to have been removed in 1976 but some concrete can still be seen in dry weather.
Plan of Gilkicker AA Battery in 1952
Close to Gilkicker AA site, north of the paddling pool was an octagonal mat for a G.L. Radar.
To the north of Fort Gilkicker there was possibly a GL Radar Mark II with its extensive mat of wires laid across the ground.
A barrage balloon was moored at the School of Electric Lighting site near to Fort Gilkicker and a coastal searchlight was mounted to the west of Fort Gilkicker with another at No.2 Battery. All searchlight sites were protected with an AA light machine gun for use against low flying aircraft. Within Fort Gilkicker was a 30mm Bofors later replaced with a 20mm gun. An unspecified AA gun was located in Stanley Park, which was then a private garden, with another AA gun at Haslar Hospital (1 light gun and one machine gun). There was a 2pr Mk2 twin at Haslar Gunboat Yard.
Browndown AA gun site.
This was designated as P40 and was at the west end of Browndown Road at O.S. Grid reference SZ 579996.
It held four 4.5inch AA guns.
Browndown AA Gunsite on Flashearth
|Browndown AA Gun Site in 2011
Holbrook AA Gun Site
This was designated as P4 for four 4.5inch AA guns and was to the west of the A32 at Holbrook O.S. Grid reference SU 592021. Nothing of this site remains today. The hutted accommodation at the site was used for many years after the War as Holbrook Junior School.
O.S. Plan of Holbrook AA Gunsite in 1956
The gun emplacements were to the left of the hutments.
Aerial view of Holbrook AA gun site: post war (1960s?).
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