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Martin Lepley

Thames & Medway Garrison - Canvey

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Martin Lepley

In 1917 - 1918 There was a 3 inch Anti-aircraft gun on Canvey Island, Essex. I believe it would come under the Thames & Medway Garrison.

 

Does anyone know where I might find some information about this gun, or the people who would have served it? I do wonder whether they used wireless radio communication to assist with communication with other (larger) defence systems in the Thames.

 

Of the Battalions of the Thames & Medway Garrison, which would  have served this gun?

 

Thames & Medway Garrison

1st (Garrison) Bn Suffolk Regt. Mar 1916 - 11 Nov 1918.

3rd (Reserve) Bn Gloucestershire Regt. May 1915 - 11 Nov 1918.

3rd (Reserve) Bn Northamptonshire Regt. May 1915 - 11 Nov 1918.

3rd (Reserve) Bn Queen’s Own. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

5th (Reserve) Bn Middlesex Regt. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

6th (Reserve) Bn Middlesex Regt. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

5th (Reserve) Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

6th (Reserve) Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

3rd (Reserve) Bn Wiltshire Regt. Sep 1917 - 11 Nov 1918.

5th (Reserve) Bn Rifle Brigade. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

6th (Reserve) Bn Rifle Brigade. Aug 1914 - 11 Nov 1918.

 

(The above information was provided by a very knowledgeable person in one of the other forum threads )

 

Many thanks

 

Martin

 

 

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stiletto_33853

Hi Martin,

Not sure who manned this gun. There were guns on the other side of the Thames at Cliffe complimenting the gun on Canvey. Certainly the KRRC & Rifle Brigades had nothing to do with this gun as they were on the Isle of Sheppey based at Sheerness and Eastchurch.

The guns at Cliffe were responsible for turning back some of the early Zeppelin raids whilst they were trying to find their way to London, May 1915 time where after being turned back by these guns went on to bomb Southend-on-Sea, as to 1917 I cannot help you.

It might be an idea to contact Tilbury Fort.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Ron Clifton

Hello Martin

 

Anti-Aircraft guns were manned by companies of the Royal Garrison Artillery, not by infantry battalions. As at June 1916, there were four AA Companies RGA in Thames and Medway Defences, three of these being on the south side of the Thames and the fourth, 39 AA Company, was based at Pitsea on the north side. The company seems to have stayed there for most of the war, equipped with one 12-pounder and six three-inch guns, so I suspect that any guns on Canvey were controlled from Pitsea.

 

I could not see a War Diary for this company in the class list for WO95.

 

Ron

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Martin Lepley

Many thanks chaps.

 

39 AA Company seems an interesting lead. I was aware of the Gun at Pitsea also. I guess they probably were more to do with defence of Kynochs Explosives works and the Pitsea Dynamite company.

 

The Canvey Gun appears to be (in my opinion) a reaction to Gotha raids at it did not appear until 1917 (I think).

 

Martin

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Ron Clifton

The RN magazines at nearby Purfleet were also provided with AA cover, possibly also from 39 AA Company.

 

Ron

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stiletto_33853

The only gun I know of that was useful for the Gotha raids was Shoebury. A lot of the Gotha raids used to fly down the River Crouch valley with a few peeling off to keep people guessing, raiding Southend-on-Sea, Sheerness etc.

Southend did suffer a large Gotha raid in August 1917 with a lot of people killed, here they used the Southend-London Fenchurch Street line as a navigation aid as well as the main road (A127) from Cuckoo's Corner into the Victoria Circus area with most deaths occurring along these two navigation marks.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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Martin Lepley
14 hours ago, stiletto_33853 said:

The only gun I know of that was useful for the Gotha raids was Shoebury. A lot of the Gotha raids used to fly down the River Crouch valley with a few peeling off to keep people guessing, raiding Southend-on-Sea, Sheerness etc.

Southend did suffer a large Gotha raid in August 1917 with a lot of people killed, here they used the Southend-London Fenchurch Street line as a navigation aid as well as the main road (A127) from Cuckoo's Corner into the Victoria Circus area with most deaths occurring along these two navigation marks.

 

Andy

There were many Anti-aircraft site along the Thames, including Coal House Fort and Tilbury Fort to name just two of many.

 

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stiletto_33853

Very true, but local reports concerning both the Zeppelin and Gotha raids mention the Cliffe and Holehaven guns turning away the May 1915 Zeppelin raids and Shoeburyness for Gotha's.

 

Andy

Edited by stiletto_33853

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