Page 18 - Medway Forts
P. 18

Victorian Forts                                                                              8

                                      Grain Dummy Battery

          Commenced            1904                                 Armament
          Completed            1905
          Cost                  £ 3,410                             1904 2 x 4.7-inch QF
          Map Reference        TQ893757                             1914/16 2 x 3-inch AA guns
          Position             Medway Channel, Isle of Grain
                               1000 yards from Grain Fort
          Type                 Coast defence
          Ditch                none
          Guns                 2
          Barrack Accom. 6 officers 24 men
          Present use          Mostly demolished

          History              Coast defence

          Disposal             Partially destroyed 1955
          Condition            some concrete remains
          Access               Open
                               ‘The Isle of Grain Defences’ Macdougall K.D.R.G.
                               J.D. Wilson ‘Later Nineteenth century defences of
          Sources              the Thames, including Grain Fort’ Army Historical
                               Research. E.H. survey report

          History and Description

           Grain Dummy Battery was so named to differentiate it from the ‘New Grain Battery’ which was built
           adjoining the Fort and immediately behind the Wing Battery. The E.H. Report on the defences of the
           Isle of Grain surmises that the earlier ‘Grain Battery’ stood on this site (see datasheet 2 Isle of Grain
           Battery), for probably 11-inch R.M.L.s but no plans survive.

           The battery as it stands today has been badly vandalised by the removal of earth and materials
           between 1953 and 1955. ‘Vandalism’ by the local authorities. A large trench was dug around the
           battery cutting into its sides to leave the exposed concrete. This has become water filled and
           misleadingly looks like a moat, but has nothing to do with the battery. The two 4.7inch Q.F.
           emplacements with holdfasts and the Battery Command Post with D.R.F. post on top, stand out of the
           top of the battery due to the removal of the earthwork material leaving the concrete core. Each gun
           emplacement had three cartridge recesses and one shell recess. The two emplacement were joined by
           a covered walkway. Attempts have also been made to drill into the concrete of the emplacements,
           presumably to demolish them. It is lucky that something recognisable remains! The magazine for the
           4.7inch guns, consisting of a cartridge and a shell store, was situated between the two gun
           emplacements. Behind the emplacements were ancillary buildings consisting of men’s shelter,
           officers’ shelter, artillery store, lamp store, cook house and urinals/ablution room. There was also a
           small officer’s latrine.  By WWI the battery was used by the Kent Territorials for practice and air
           defence using two 3-inch AA guns.

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