Sussex Military Research Projects

Type 24 Pillbox (A35)

Project ID: SMR1044

Location: Blackham, East Sussex

Project date: 2013



Project Overview: Withyham Pillboxes

Part of the GHQ Line of pillboxes runs through Withyham Parish, following the railway line from Uckfield and then the River Medway. The parish council invited us to clear vegetation from, and record a selection of them.

Description: This pillbox is one of a pair that were sited close together for mutal defence. A35 is on high ground overlooking its neighbour, A34, which sits on the flood plain by the River Medway. These pillboxes were worked on concurrently, a key task being to clear vegetation from between them, thereby putting them back into context with each other.

A35 is dug into the bank and over the years soil erosion had obscured two embrasures and part of the entrance. The latter was dug out and the interior found to be relatively free from debris away from the door.

Water running off the top of the bank caused flooding in wet weather; fortunately a drainage pipe had been incorporated into the foundation and this was excavated and cleaned out with drain rods to get it working again.

With the view down to pillbox A34 cleared, an appreciation of how the pair could cover each other's blindspots was gained. A Bren gun was set up on its tripod to demonstrate how the rear approaches to A34 could be covered.

Photograph gallery