Our First Pillbox

Pillboxes occur frequently in this area and the one here is at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve which is possibly three miles south down coast of Skegness. The location of this pillbox is plotted as an orange dot on map B.

The pillbox is a concrete hide, in this case, built in and concealed by the sandunes. The soldiers, possibly the home guard, of World War 2 , would have been poised in these building ready for offensive by the enemy via the sea. The pillbox in the photograph is facing east with windows on the southern, eastern and northern sides. The fire arms were projected through the tiny windows.The photo right is a view from the roof of the pillbox. The sea is presently about a mile away over the dunes but during the second world war, the sea was closer. This meant that from this vantage point, the soldiers would have had a commanding view of the enemy approaching from the sea. Lookouts would have been posted nearer the sea to warn the defense of pending attacks. Some distance both to the left and right of this panorama were concrete tank blockers, which afforded the soldiers some protection from the peripherals.
Following the pathway to the right in the top picture, we can see the northernside of the pillbox.
Below – the north facing side.
Here we can see the entrance to the pillbox with its sloping roof.
The diagram left is an illustration of the layout of the pillbox. It is by no means an accurate plan, merely to assist me in explaining where each photograph was taken.
The order of the letters plots the route and the orientation of the letters reflect the angle the shot was taken from.Point A in the diagram – this is the entrance to the pillbox. It is about two and a half feet high and about two feet wide. It is possible that some accumulation of sand over the years has reduced the original height. But even so, the width is very narrow. I am quite small and had difficulty crawling through. It must a been a tight squeeze for the soldiers! I crawled into the pillbox and turned the corner to the left of in the photo above. The tunnel turned acutely back on itself and I was plunged into darkness. I was loathed to stand up as I couldn’t judge the of the height of the roof.Having turned the corner, I discovered an interior wall which had a window in it. This is the window and was taken at point B in the diagram. The interior wall (blast wall)
would have afforded protection from close quarter attacks from enemy personnel who had breached the defense.I crawled on in the darkness till I came to an angle in the wall on my right, point C. I took the shot below at point D as I was turning the final corner into the main chamber of the pillbox, still on my hands and knees!Photograph of the north facing window taken from point E. Note the concrete shelf below the window. The soldiers would probably have leaned on these shelves to steady their aim.

View that the soldiers would have had from the north window at point F. Their guns would have been pointing out here ready to fire on the enemy.

This is the window on the south side of the pillbox. I was standing at point G for this shot.

The wall on the right of this photo is the interior wall. The shot was of point H and below,….
point I, is the view of the ceiling.

Doing a complete 360 degree turn, this is the way out of the pillbox, the shot constituting point J.

Crawling once more though the darkened tunnel, I began my exit.

Photo above was taken at point K and the shot on the left, showing the doorway, at point L.I am unsure what the recess in the wall is in this photo.

WW2 Pillbox – an Inside Story
Skegness Video
9 min 24 sec – Jan 9,
2006
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s