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St Martin's Battery Shifting Lobby, Western Heights, Dover, Kent, United Kingdom

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John Latter on May 11, 2007

A view of the shifting lobby behind one of the three gun positions that make up St Martin's Battery on Dover's Western Heights.

Here, soldiers changed, or 'shifted', into clothes containing no iron fastenings in case an accidental spark caused an explosion.

Like this:



Magazine clothes used bronze or copper buttons.

Other images/photos of St Martins Battery currently include Gun Position 1, Gun Position 2, the rear access road, and one of the commanding views from St Martins Battery over Dover Harbour and the English Channel beyond (albeit shrouded in fog in this shot).

Standard Info:

The building of St Martin's Battery began circa 1870 to counter the threat of a French invasion. The Battery was then 're-modelled' in 1940 during the Second World War.

1870 construction is identified by yellow brickwork, that of 1940 by red.

St Martin's Battery is only a very small part of the fortifications on this part of the North Downs - click on Western Heights and then check the tag list for all the locations covered (eg Drop Redoubt, Grand Shaft, North Entrance, North Center Bastion - more will be added as time goes on).

Work began on Dover's Western Heights fortifications in the 1770s and was intensified, first in the early 1800s because of Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte), and again in the mid-Nineteenth Century because of Napoleon III (originally known as Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte).

"Dover in World War Two: 1942 (1) is a ten minute British Ministry of Information film, released by the US Office of War Information, and narrated by the American journalist, Edward R. Murrow.

The video contains a short clip of a gun similar to those of St Martin's Battery 0:07:03 in (a probably staged) action.

The whole video can be seen at Dover in World War Two: 1942 or choose one of the other pre-selected entry points:

Dunkirk Evacuation 0:00:40

Winston Churchill 0:01:22

The Mayor 0:05:49

Dover Town Hall 0:06:25

St Martin's Battery 0:07:03

Pencester Gardens 0:09:41

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 9, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX Optio 33LF
    • Taken on 2007/04/08 10:26:01
    • Exposure: 0.017s (1/60)
    • Focal Length: 5.80mm
    • F/Stop: f/2.600
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • Flash fired