Posted: 12 April 2006 22:07

Anti-Tank Cubes at Cuckmere Haven I finished the last blog with this photo of 20 blocks at Cuckmere Haven, but while I was processing the full-size image, I noticed what seems to be some writing on the end block that I had not noticed when I was actually there.

Not being able to discern it properly, I risked a less than ideal weather forecast to go back and see what was actually written on the block; from the photo it appeared to be '3 COY SECT'.

Grafitti on Anti-Tank Cube at Cuckmere Haven

When I got to the block in question, I thought I was going mad, as I couldn't immediately see the writing!

Once I'd located it, I took a close look and tried to trace the writing with my finger. This revealed a couple of extra numbers, and I now think it reads '133 COY 3 SECT', but the eye of faith is still needed.

The legend might be short for '133 Company, 3 Section', possibly the unit that built this part of the defences? It may be that as this was the last block in the line, somebody decided to etch their unit details in the wet cement to commemorate completion of the job and to give the Germans something to read should the invasion come.

If anyone can throw any light on this I'd be glad to know. Was there a 133 Company in the area in 1940 and shouldn't there be an intermediate level such as platoon or troop?

Ironically, the several photographs I took from different angles didn't come out as clearly as the original photo I took on Sunday, indicating how hard it is to see it, even if you know it's there. I've tweaked the photo above and highlighted what I believe the text to be.

Benchmark on pillbox at Cuckmere Haven

As for the rest of the day, I visited again the pillboxes I mentioned previously to get some more photos.

However, when I got home I discovered yet another case of markings that I didn't see when I was there, but which only showed up on a photo!

The inset appears to be a benchmark; looks like I'm going to have to make another trip to check it out...

- Pete



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Anti-tanks blocks, popularly known as dragon's teeth. Not to be confused with smaller blocks known as pimples, cubes can be upwards of 1m square. Many examples in Sussex have apexes or chamfered edges, leading to them being incorrectly recorded as coffins.


Generic term for a hardened field defensive structure usually constructed from concrete and/or masonry. Pillboxes were built in numerous types and variants depending on location and role.

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Hibbs, Peter A second bite of a dragon's tooth (2024) Available at: Accessed: 17 July 2024

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