Posted: 21 March 2009 12:22

I found what appear to be bullet holes in some ironwork at a defended locality on the Downs. The position also yielded some slit trenches and a Vickers Gun position.

Bullet holes?

These holes appear to be about 8mm in diameter - the standard British .303" is 7.7mm - and perhaps indicate this metal was in the butts of a firing range.

This is not thin sheet metal - it's a thick boiler plate that I think could only be penetrated so neatly by being shot at.

The plate appears to have been shot at from both sides; the holes at bottom left have the 'mushroom' splayed effect of an exit hole. For some reason, this plate is half buried on the edge of a Vickers gun position, although I have no idea why.

The Vickers position had the only evidence of revetment and angle iron pickets in the locality; two slit trenches I found had been infilled and were just hollows in the ground.

Documents indicate this was a platoon locality with a section of Vickers guns covering the high ground and a nearby road as shown below.

Slit trench

There's still more to be found out here, as there's far too few trenches and no obvious all-round defence arrangement as yet evident.

- Pete



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Defended locality

An area defended by a force (e.g. a platoon) occupying a series of defence works, normally within a barbed wire perimeter. Localities were designed for all-round defence and usually fitted in with a coordinated scheme of neighbouring localities.

Platoon locality

A defended locality intended to be held by a platoon.

Slit trench

Small, narrow trench designed to provide protection against shrapnel and other battlefield hazards. Technically distinct from a weapon pit (which was intended soley as a defensive position) slit trenches were also used as defence works.

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Hibbs, Peter New trenches - with bullet holes? (2024) Available at: Accessed: 19 June 2024

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