Posted: 11 July 2009 20:14

It's been two months since I last posted on my blog; unfortunately everything's gone haywire in my life and so I'm behind on things.

If you've emailed me and not had a response, then apologies - I will try and catch up!

Fieldwork and research has been going in the meantime though; it's just that I haven't had time to maintain the blog.

In the past few weeks I've undertaken one visit to the National Archives and I've been busy in Downsforce's area, finding another platoon locality or two with more trenches and possibly an HQ area.

I've done some more digging in my archive and found a more detailed version of the map trace I've been using to locate defence works on the Downs.

The first map is reproduced below; this came from the battalion holding the Downs.

Map 1

The new map comes from the infantry brigade's defence scheme and shows a lot more detail such as arcs of fire of anti-tank guns and Vickers MMGs.

Map 2

This map has lead me to find a few earthworks I believe to be 2-pounder anti-tank guns as well as a whole host of new trenches and another platoon locality in 'B' Company's position.

I've also found a section position of slit trenches on the perimeter of the defended locality I visited back in April.

There's been so many finds that I don't have time to fill you in on them, but I'll probably catch up on this the next time I visit these locations.

All of this has now taken the total number of earthwork defences I've recorded on the Downs to over 250; this includes 150 in Downsforce, so I've located about 100 trenches and features since April and there's more to come!

- Pete



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Defence scheme

A military plan of defence for a specified area. Defence Schemes were issued at numerous levels. Defence Schemes were later known as Plans to Defeat Invasion on the orders of General Montgomery.

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 All quiet on the blogging front (2018) Available at: Accessed: 18 June 2018

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