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World War 2
Heyshott Pillbox

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Everyone knows of Churchills speech to the nation in 1940, but what many don't know is that Britain didn't have enough defences to back this up.
As an anticipated German invasion loomed ever nearer, the largest military construction programme in our history was taking place. The aim, to make Britain an island fortress.
Alongside gun emplacements, tank traps and other defences, which were being built at a frantic rate, over 18,000 'pillboxes' were constructed. These concrete 'mini forts' were placed in defensive lines, many across the Downs, and at strategic points such as road junctions and bridges.
After World War 2 had ended they were mostly demolished. Landowners were offered a fee of £5 per pillbox to demolish them, but many were simply left to decay, allowed to become overgrown and forgotten.
The few that remain are permanent monuments and a silent tribute to the courage and tenacity of the British people during those dark days in 1940 when Britain stood besieged and alone against a formidable enemy less than 25 miles from our shores.
In the forest between Midhurst and Heyshott is a well preserved example, shown left, and close to a footpath. It hasn't been vandalised or damaged and except for natures incursions is almost as it must have stood in 1940.
As yet, after a lot of question asking, it seems this is possibly the last example left in the area. Unless of course, you know different..then please let us know.
Any further information, views or memories of this pillbox, or others in the area, would be very gratefully accepted.

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further reading:
www.pillboxes uk


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