Gilkicker Anti-Aircraft Gun Site

Gilkicker Anti-Aircraft gun site, designated P3 (SZ603982), was one of three Anti-Aircraft  gun sites built at Gosport as part of the Portsmouth Anti-Aircraft defences. It came under the command of 35th Anti-Aircraft Brigade Southern Area, Southern Command (Raised 1 April 1938 at Fareham) with its Headquarters at Fort Fareham, Hampshire.

The Anti-Aircraft guns at Gosport were manned by the 215th (Gosport and Fareham) Battery which was the Gosport Battery. In addition AA defences at Gosport were also manned by 48th (Hampshire) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, R.E. (T.A.) – South-Western Area, Southern Command 393rd Company based in Gosport.

Gilkicker AA Gun

Gilkicker AA 4.5inch Gun

Gilkicker AA Gun2

Gilkicker AA 4.5inch Gun

Typical 4.5inch Aa Gun emplacement

A Typical 4.5inch AA Gun emplacement

The other two Gosport AA Gunsites were P4 at Holbrook (SU592021 which post War became Holbrook Primary School, nothing of it survives) and P40 at Browndown SZ579995. The holdfasts for the Browndown site still exist, hidden beneath the bracken and bushes. The Stokes Bay Gilkicker AA site site was north of the modern Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Station and south of Fort Road. Gilkicker AA Gun Site held four 4.5-inch static AA guns in 1942. 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.

 

Gilkicker AA Map1

A map of the Gilkicker AA Gun Site based upon available evidence (David Moore 2016)

To the north of the four gun emplacements was a hutted camp used by the Gilkicker 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 site was then used as a vehicle park for the Territorial Army at Browndown and was designated as 121 Weekend Training Center.

Gilkicker AA site

Gilkicker Gun Site 214/57th HAA Regiment

Photo kindly supplied by John Peters showing his father (sitting front centre next to the Sergeant) of the 214/57th HAA Regiment, C section. (214th (Southsea) Battery based in Southsea.
The 214s & 215s also maned sites at Sinah (Haling Island) and Southsea.

 

 

 

Close to Gilkicker AA site, north of the old paddling pond was an octagonal mat for a Ground Laying Radar shown on the 1943 D Day Hards construction plans. The mat consisted of a series of wires laid in a grid connected to a receiver. Erecting the mat took fifty men two weeks to complete. A nearby transmitter sent out a signal that was reflected off incoming aircraft. The mat picked up the bounced signal and this was used to give the nearby AA Gun Site enough information to fire at unseen incoming aircraft.

Gilkicker AA Plan2

Plan of the Gun Site and Radar Mat based upon the 1943 D-Day Embarkation Hards plan.

GL Radar Mat

GL Radar Mat: The RADAR was placed on the central platform and was accesssed via a walkway and ladder. A mat used 230 rolls of netting (each 4ft wide and 50yards long) six and a half miles of rolled mesh. This was an area of fifteen thousand square yards. It also needed ten miles of galvanised wire.

The Gilkicker gun site concrete emplacements were removed in 1976 and no surface features remain but some concrete can still be seen beneath the grass in dry weather.

Gilkicker Gun Site

Traces of the Gilkicker gun emplacementa can be seen in dry weather (Google Earth in 2007)

Gilkicker Gun Site

The gun site in 2016

Gilkicker Gun Site

Remains of a gun emplacement in a dry Summer (2008)

For more details on the Gilkicker AA Gun Site visit:
http://www.fortgilkicker.co.uk/AAgunsite.htm

For more details on the Gilkicker GL Radar installation visit:

http://www.fortgilkicker.co.uk/radar.htm