Page 45 - Fort Gilkicker
P. 45

Fort Gilkicker                                                                                  Solent Papers No.5

           permanent garrison there. At home there was never Preview

                         The west end gun casemates with 9.2inch B.L. emplacement above in 2007

           the magazines. At the right hand end of the barrack  direction of the Master Gunner. Between 1856 and
           the connecting wall has two cement pads dated ‘27 7  1914 the reinforcements required on the outbreak of
           11’ acting as strain gauges across a vertical crack.  war to complete the manning of the coast defences
           The group stores were incorporated into the upstairs  was to be found from the various Corps of Militia
           quarters and became bedrooms. Three of the quarters  and Volunteer Artillery. Gilkicker was often used for
           were ‘A’ type with one bedroom a scullery and      Militia training and was occupied by three  batteries
           living room whilst the other five were ‘B’ type each  from the Hampshire Artillery Militia during their 28
           having two bedrooms a scullery and living room.    days embodiment in 1871. Again on June 19th. 1885
           Four W.C. blocks were added to the rear of the     No.5 Battery moved into Fort Gilkicker and was
           barrack each with a lower and upper room so that   inspected by the Officer Commanding Royal
           one served each married quarter.                   Artillery Gosport District on July 6th.   No.6 Battery
                                                              relieved them on August 21st. leaving one N.C.O.
           Coast Defence                                      and six gunners at the fort when they left on
           The organisation of Coast Defence was altered on   September 6th. The Brigade was disembodied on
           many occasions from 1856 onwards. Portsmouth was   September 30th. leaving the fort empty.
           manned by the 15th. Brigade which became the 21st.
           Brigade which in turn became the 6th. Southern     Manning the Fort
           Garrison Brigade. In 1889 this became the Southern  Some regular Garrison Artillery batteries were
           Garrison Division. Coast Artillery in the British  stationed at Gilkicker between 1868 and 1890. The
           Army found it difficult to produce enough men to   5th Battery 7th. Brigade R.A. were there from
           man their guns in time of war and certainly the    January to September 1872. In 1872 there were five
           expense was prohibitive. As Gilkicker was          Garrison Brigades with a total of 35 batteries ‘at
           essentially an auxiliary battery to Fort Monckton it  home’. The 4th Battery, 7th Brigade moved from
           was never considered necessary to quarter a        Fort Fareham to Fort Gilkicker on 12th August 1880.
                                                              They left Gilkicker for Shoeburyness gun practice on
           any intention to man all guns with trained         26th October 1881. They were replaced by 14th
           artillerymen. They merely carried out the skilled  Battery 11th Brigade on 26th. October 1881 under
           maintenance of the guns and ammunition under the   command of Lieutenant=Colonel R.W. Phipps R.A..

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