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Remembered Today:

Mystery Fort


scotchegg75

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This is rather bugging me as it is labelled as Dover, but I am 99.9% sure it isn't !! It is apparenty between 1906-20 due ot the khaki uniforms of some of the guys. Anyone recognise this ?

post-29292-0-10231400-1314177061.jpg

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One of the Portsdown Forts?

Keith

I don't think so as I have sent it to one of their local experts on the Hampshire forts and I know the Dover area very well and it doesnt appear to be anything in our parts of the country.

It is rather distinctive with the guys down a sunken path leading to the rooms at the back

Paul

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Similar to the Portsdown forts with the accomodation in the block in the background. I don't recognise the building on the left. Don't think it is Portsdown.

The men are standing on the ramp which was used to bring the big guns up to the ramparts.

Nigel

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Just possibly Fort Cumberland? I don't think it is, but it does look familiar to me from my time at Fort C, so possibly one of the others down near the harbour approaches.

Trajan

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Just possibly Fort Cumberland? I don't think it is, but it does look familiar to me from my time at Fort C, so possibly one of the others down near the harbour approaches.

Trajan

Oooo - interesting thought, but I checked all my photos and although there are some similiarities it is unfortunately not their either.

I was thinking perhap the Chatham/Medway Lines somewhere as I don't know that area well...

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It may be St Budeaux Fort, Plymouth. One of Palmerston's follies.

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The troops involved appear to be Fusiliers, who were stationed here on the Isle of Wight at Parkhurst Barracks. They also had a camp at Yaverland Fort, another Palmerston structure which the photo might just be of, but most of it had been demolished by the time I was a boy, so I cannot give a definite I.D.

Gareth

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this might help: a website with lots of photos of Victorian forts... click here A very detailed website. I would imagine if you sent the image to them one of their experts will be able to nail it.

I have books with plans and illustrations of Fort Brockhurst, the Gomer-Elson Forts, Fort Nelson, and the Portsdown Forts, the Hilsea Lines and Portsbridge - all part of the Palmerston's follies and although there are great similarities, none seem to match. The authors and the books are all listed on the above website... I recall from my Army days that there were a lot of Palmerston's follies around the Chatham/Rochester area too...Fort Upnor springs to mind which might be worth checking out. I always thought that the Palmerston follies were quite beautiful pieces of architecture.

Any chance of posting a larger image? One clue might be the gigantic mast in the background which I think will confirm it as being one of the port defences structures....it might help locate it. It looks like a land based mast (no rigging), so maybe you can reduce the possibilities by finding the ones near masts. Just a thought.

MG

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this might help: a website with lots of photos of Victorian forts... click here A very detailed website. I would imagine if you sent the image to them one of their experts will be able to nail it.

I have books with plans and illustrations of Fort Brockhurst, the Gomer-Elson Forts, Fort Nelson, and the Portsdown Forts, the Hilsea Lines and Portsbridge - all part of the Palmerston's follies and although there are great similarities, none seem to match. The authors and the books are all listed on the above website... I recall from my Army days that there were a lot of Palmerston's follies around the Chatham/Rochester area too...Fort Upnor springs to mind which might be worth checking out. I always thought that the Palmerston follies were quite beautiful pieces of architecture.

Any chance of posting a larger image? One clue might be the gigantic mast in the background which I think will confirm it as being one of the port defences structures....it might help locate it. It looks like a land based mast (no rigging), so maybe you can reduce the possibilities by finding the ones near masts. Just a thought.

MG

Thanks, I have been in conversation with Victorian Forts and I have been checking my images for anything similar but no luck so far :( The doors and windows are quite distinct so I hope that is a clue for someone out there....

Here is a full size image:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doverpast/6076878927/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/doverpast/6076878927/sizes/o/in/photostream/

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The womens clothes surely place this pre-WWI, I would say. if they are Royal Fusiliers then Parkhurst (4th Bn) looks a possibility; but a Fusilier expert would need to confirm (they all look the same to me..). Relatively few other possibilities in Fusilier postings in that period I suspect .. perhaps a way forward?

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Having now had a chance to see the enlarged photo, there are no Island forts with a slightly raised parade ground for the idle ranks to lean on, not the IOW then.

Gareth

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looking harder at the image - is not the busby hackle of the Soldiers a two-colour one - dark over white ?? - which would be Northumberland Fusiliers, perhaps??? 1st Bn Portsmouth and 3rd Bn N'castle immediately prewar .. 2Bn Dover in 1909 .. (some images on WWW of 2Bn Northumberlands at portland fort on a St Georges Day parade in 1898, suggestive of what this event may be..)

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Thanks, I have been in conversation with Victorian Forts and I have been checking my images for anything similar but no luck so far :( The doors and windows are quite distinct so I hope that is a clue for someone out there....

Here is a full size image:

http://www.flickr.co...ast/6076878927/

http://www.flickr.co...in/photostream/

I have no doubt that you will nail this...it's just a matter of time.... I think the best clues are the mast, the regiment and the period. Clearly a Fusilier Regt. (Not necessarily the Royal Fusiliers) ......but how many Volunteer Bns or Militia Bns were based near a Palmerston folly? I would guess zero and I am not aware of major training camps near ports, therefore we are probably looking at a Regular Bn.... and that will severely narrow the options if one can establish the postings of the few regular Fusilier Bns between (say) 1850 and 1900. I am not a clothing expert but I am sure someone out there will further limit the dates through the ladies' fashion...Given the clarity of the image, a photographic expert will be able to limit the earliest date of the photo...it looks very clear to me and must be at least later than 1890 I would guess.... I would be asking for the postings of all the regular Fusilier Bns between 1906 (Khaki) and 1914...... only 18 Bns..... and I am betting it would be easy to eliminate most. MG

PS. I am with Battiscombe on the dark-over-white hackle. Geordies. Why aye man.

Royal Fusiliers

Northumberland Fusiliers

Lancashire Fusiliers

Royal Scots Fusiliers

Royal Welch Fusiliers

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Royal Irish fusiliers

Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Royal Munster Fusiliers

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As a large number of the soldiers looking on are in Service Dress, and given the ladies fashions, I would guess 1908 - 12, but clearly no earlier than the genereral issue of service dress at home.

G

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Looking at the link....some of the men, especially those in the darker uniforms (RMLI? RMA?) seem to be wearing the Broderick cap....There is another thread here discussing dates that this cap was worn. It seems to have been introduced in 1902 and in general use until 1907, although the RMLI allegedly wore it until 1914....so manybe this is after 1907 when the Army phased out the Broderick (no-one in khaki seem to be wearing the Broderick) but before 1914 when the RMLI were still wearing it....which ties in with T8HANTS thoughts too. That might narrow down the timeframe... 18 Fusilier Bns within a 7 year period. MG

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1909 postings ... from Army List. very few possibilities as all Bns either inland stations (e.g. Aldershot) and of course nearly half regular Bns overseas.. or Ireland, China, India, Egypt..etc. i was wondering if Brodericks were visible, or an optical illusion (some look to have a service cap with shiny peak?).. but I think little doubt that prewar decade. But hackle does suggest Northumberlands I would suggest .. form a limit knowledge.. perhaps ask/repost for a Fusiliers expert opinion??

Royal Fusiliers - none

Northumberland Fusiliers - 2Bn Dover

Lancashire Fusiliers - none

Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Cork (but not Spike island I think)

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - none

Royal Irish fusiliers - none

Royal Dublin Fusiliers - none

Royal Munster Fusiliers - none

Royal Scots Fusiliers - none (Rangoon .. Dublin..)

1914

Northumberland Fusiliers - 1st Bn Portsmouth

Lancashire Fusiliers - 2Bn Dover

Royal Welsh Fusiliers - 2 Bn Portland

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - 2 Bn Dover

Royal Irish fusiliers - 1 Bn Shorncliffe

Royal Dublin Fusiliers - 2Bn Gravesend

Royal Munster Fusiliers - 1st Bn Rangoon!

Rotal Scots Fusiliers - 1st Bn Gosport (ie Portsmotuh area..)

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Assuming the photo was not taken after the start of WWI (as the Bns would have all be on active service abroad) the Fusilier Bn locations at the outbreak of WWI could be a good starting point. We can work backwards from here and see were they were posted in the preceding years. I note that a few were based in port towns - see below.... The only-dark over-white hackles were the Northumberland Fusiliers and the Royal Munster Fusiliers

As suggested by others, the most likely candidate is the 1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers which was based in Portsmouth from 1913....Unfortunately there are over a dozen Palmerston follies in the area and the long lines of defences around Portsmouth and the Hilsea lines - so miles of brickwork defences. I am trying to find out which barracks as a starting point, but given it is the band, they could be anywhere in the garrison and the surrounding outlying forts.

1st Bn Northumberland Fusiliers - Portsmouth...arriving in Portsmouth from India in Autumn of 1913 having been abroad for 17 years.

2nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers - India

Hackle: Red over white (from 1829)

1st Bn Royal Fusiliers - Kinsale, Ireland

2nd Bn Royal Fusiliers - Calcutta

Hackle: White from 1901

1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers - Karachi

2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers - Dover

Hackle: Yellow from 1901

1st Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers - Gosport

2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers - Gibraltar

Hackle: White from 1902

1st Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Malta

2nd Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers - Portland

Hackle: White

1st Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - India

2nd Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - Dover

Hackle: Grey

1st Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers - Shorncliffe

2nd Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers - Quetta

Hackle: Emerald Green

1st Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers - Rangoon

2nd Bn Royal Munster Fusiliers - Aldershot, Malplaquet Barracks

Hackle: White over Green

1st Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers - Madras, India

2nd Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers - Gravesend (any fortress here?)

Hackle: Blue over Green

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I get the impression from the photograph that it is a clifftop fort rather than an inland fort,

with the sea to the rear and below.

Might that be a signals mast in the centre background?

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Just following up the possibility that it is the Northumberland Fusiliers, here is the complete list of locations of the 4 regular battalions between 1901-1914 (kindly provided by GWF colleague Punjab612). There are three candidate locations which I have highlighted in red...interestingly the 2nd Bn was based in Dover at the Citadel in 1907. I have only highlighted the garrisons where there are Palmerston follies or similar structures that might fit the photo. I hope this helps narrow the possibilities. Regards MG

1st Bn

1901 Jan South Africa

1903 May Mauritius

1906 Feb India

1913 Nov Cambridge Barracks, Portsmouth

1914 Aug France & Flanders

2nd Bn

1901 Jan South Africa

1903 Feb Milton Barracks, Gravesend

1904 Jun Badajoz Barracks, Aldershot

1907 Oct The Citadel, Dover

1910 Oct Hillsborough Barracks, Sheffield

1913 Sep India

1914 Dec Portsmouth (I assume Cambridge Barracks with the 1st Bn but this is not confirmed)

1915 Jan France & Flanders

3rd Bn

1901 Jan The Barracks, Bradford

1901 Apr Parkhurst Barracks, Newport, IoW

1902 May Antigua

1902 Sep South Africa

1907 Mar Disbanded

4th Bn

1901 Jan Fulford Barracks, York

1901 Jul Ireland

1907 Jan Disbanded

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