Posted: 26 November 2009 09:43

I'm several months behind on reading emails and blogging partly due to technical problems, so if you've sent me an email and not had a response, please bear with me!

Despite this, I have been making progress in the research, fieldwork and admin departments.

Error message

I've been plagued by computer trouble of late; I had to replace my graphics card (this was a month-long battle with the manufacturer) and have had a few heart attacks when random messages suddenly start scrolling down the screen as seen at right.

This particular error was caused by a corrupt file on my camera memory card; it contained photos from a full day in the National Archives (approx 1,300 pics) and for a while I thought they'd all been lost. Fortunately, they survived - to have to repeat a whole day at TNA would be an horrendous task!

All this has put me seriously behind on emailing, and problems with sending attachments has not helped either. My ISP and anti-virus manufacturer blame each other for the problem and so I'm no nearer a solution on this matter.

Pump house

On the subject of fieldwork, I have visits to Seaford and Hastings undertaken way back in August as well as a few other minor roadblock recces still to document. A quick visit to a known bivouac area revealed a series of 20+ slit trenches in an unusual arrangement.

Another burst of archive and fieldwork included the busting of a myth regarding the mysterious apparatus seen at right. This has previously been identified as part of a Sea Flame Barrage installation, but fresh research has now revealed this not to be the case.

Newhaven is another area where I've been out and about; yet more roadblock locations as well as the gun batteries in and around the Fort.


I have also undertaken four visits to the National Archives and tracked down some mouth-watering documents, maps and photographs.

The downside of all of these archive visits is that each gains more information than I can easily process, so perhaps the greatest headway that I've made since the summer has been in behind-the-scenes admin work. In this department I have been banging away on filing and information management tasks.

Although I have literally thousands of photographs of documents, I obviously don't print them all out, but I do print some of the most important defence schemes for quick and easy reference.

I have now mounted all of these in slip-case folders and labelled them as can be seen in the photo at right. This simple measure has speeded up the process of cross-referencing information between different documents and is quicker than trying to find a folder of photographs.

The knock-on effect this has had on my research databases is enormous and it is perhaps in this area that I've made the most significant progress. The advances I've made here are such that it deserves its own post, which I'll compile if I can find the time!

- 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.

Sea flame barrage

Incendiary coastal defence work wherbey oil is pumped from tanks along a pipe network, released onto the surface of the sea and set aflame.

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.


The National Archives (formerly The Public Records Office or PRO).

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Hibbs, Peter Catching up (2024) Available at: Accessed: 17 July 2024

The information on this website is intended solely to describe the ongoing research activity of The Defence of East Sussex Project; it is not comprehensive or properly presented. It is therefore NOT suitable as a basis for producing derivative works or surveys!