Shoreham Fort

WOW – What a month…

In this newsletter:


Hello and welcome to the latest 'Irregular' newsletter!

I would like to introduce myself as Craig and I'll be contributing to the writing of the newsletters. I've also been given access to Facebook and Twitter so make sure you're following Shoreham Fort on there for more regular updates.

Please rest assured that we won't be bombarding you with too many newsletters, but we'll try to get four out to you that tie in with our annual events, Easter, Military History Weekend, Heritage Open Days and Remembrance. There may be the odd one in between when we have important announcements that we need to share.



Annual General Meeting 2019

The AGM was held at the Sussex Yacht Club on Wednesday 20th February. 60 plus people attended the meeting where Gary Baines was re-elected as Chairman, Sharon Penfold as Secretary; Andy Vincent and Julie Searle were also re-elected as Trustees.

Daryl Holter, Sussex Police Heritage Crime Advisor, spoke briefly about the importance of reporting damage and vandalism to the police, especially at Shoreham Fort which has had a large number of vandalism incidents. This can be done by ringing 999, 101 or emailing


Following the AGM was a vivid presentation on the Past, Present & Future of Shoreham Fort given by Gary Baines. The presentation ended with an enchanting video showing what the future of Shoreham Fort could look like.



Peter Caddick-Adams is our new Patron – 20th February 2019

At our AGM, it was announced that Peter Caddick-Adams has become our Patron.

Peter Caddick-Adams

Sharon Penfold, Secretary of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, had this to say "Having Peter offer to be our Patron is a huge compliment to our charity and shows that the significance of Shoreham Fort and the hard work and dedication of the Friends of Shoreham Fort volunteers is being taken seriously in the military history world."

Peter is a leading, professional military historian with 30 years’ experience. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was the official UK Historian in the 2003 Iraq War. His latest book, ‘Sand and Steel: A New History of D-Day’ is soon to be released and includes the role that Shoreham played as part of D-Day.

Welcome aboard Peter!

See Peter's introduction video here



More Vandalism... – 10th February 2019

It was with a saddened heart when volunteers got on site for this Find Out More Day, they found that the fencing around the East Caponier had been removed.

Vandalism Feb 10-2-19_small

It took 6 volunteers about 2 hours to re-secure the East Capoiner. Valuable time that could of been spent doing more useful tasks. Additional fencing was added in the hope that it will further prevent anymore attempts at access. The Police also made a visit and some evidence was handed over, which should hopefully be able to help track down the culprit(s).

The reason why we block the Capoiners off is to prevent further damage. They have also been used as a latrine in the past when the toilet block has been closed. Yuck!



High Praise Indeed – 10th March 2019

When we arrived on site for our fortnightly Find Out More Day we were met with yet more vandalism of the fort with parts of the western shell recess having been removed, also between the two volunteer days our safety rails along the terreplein had been broken by individuals jumping on them and snapping them at the joints.

This sadness was soon vanquished though as we spotted a small procession of very distinguished guests coming across the car park towards the Nissen hut. Caroline Nicholls DL, The High Sheriff of West Sussex; Tim Loughton, MP; Joss Loader, Chairman of Adur and Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer Communities were joined by PCSO Daryl Holter, Heritage Crime Officer and Adviser; PC Michael Harvey, Heritage Crime Officer and Mr Robert Pooley, MBE, Pooley Sword Ltd.

Having absolutely no idea why all these people were in one place at the same time we thought we should get all the volunteers together in the Nissen hut, to shelter from the wind, and see what was going to happen.

The High Sheriff proceeded to explain why everyone was gathered on this incredibly blustery day. She was there to present us, the volunteers, an award in 'recognition of great and valuable services to the community.' We were one of only five groups in West Sussex to receive the award and we could not be more proud.

High Sheriff Award



Easter Sunday Funday – 21st April 2019

Come and join us for the old classics like egg and spoon races, sack races and new games such as Charge and the Powder Monkey game.

This event is for all the family (yes even the adults get to play too) and is a tremendous amount of fun.

Anyone that has been to previous East Sunday Fundays at Shoreham Fort will know that we 'soldier' on, as best we can, regardless of whatever the weather throws at us and we have a great day.

G :)

Easter Notice 2019


Nissen Hut History

During WWII Shoreham Fort was extensively modified to incorporate, among other things, large concrete buildings built on top of the terreplein to house our two 6" guns, anti aircraft gun bases around the site, anti tank blocks on the beach in front of the fort and even Nissen huts were placed on the site too, the foundation slabs of which can still be seen.

In March 2014 we brought back what we thought was a WWII Nissen hut that we had rescued from demolition in Chidham, near Chichester, and placed it on one of the original WWII Nissen hut foundations.

A couple of years ago we were made aware of the fact that our Nissen hut was in fact 4 or 5 WWI Nissen huts that were taken down after the First World War, put into storage and when needed again for WWII were pulled out re-erected using whatever panels they had been given. Being as the panels were all the same sizes it really didn't matter which ones were used. The distinction was made when the internal rings of the structure were assessed, WWI ones were much thicker than during WWII.

We were all quite excited to think that we had actually, unknowingly, erected a First World War Nissen hut in the centenary years of that very war.

This month our Nissen hut became even more significant as it has just been confirmed in writing, by the project archaeologist for the Council of British Archaeology and Historic England, that we actually have the last usable WWI Nissen hut in the whole country.



Shoreham Fort

Shoreham Fort

How amazing is that...


(ps - Watch this space for exciting news about our 'Tin Hut')


FoSF got Quizzical – 20th March 2019

A first for the Friends of Shoreham Fort

One of our volunteers, Sarah B, owner of Auntie Sarah's in Shoreham High Street, said she wanted to organise a quiz for us to make some pennies. Never being ones to turn down the offer of help to raise the much needed funds for the fort, we said 'yes please'.

Sussex Yacht Club provided the perfect venue and 17 teams came and supported us.

Jon and Sofe, BlueDawg Entertainments, helped the evening's fun by provided the inter round games and we cannot thank the winners of these games for donating their cash prizes back to the charity.

I think all who attended will agree that the evening was a fantastic success and we can't thank Sarah, Jon and Sofe enough for the enormous amount of hard work that went in to the planning.

We are thrilled to be able to share that we raised a staggering £549.66. People's generosity really was astounding and we're wondering if we can twist Sarah B's arm to arrange another one for us, next year?



Networking and Sharing – 24th March 2019

The Friends of Shoreham Fort believe that networking is a huge must, as there is no point in reinventing the wheel. We have built up a huge network of contacts across the country, many of whom are now personal friends. It is always invaluable when we receive support and advice from others in the same boat but we think it is equally important that we share our knowledge and advice to others too.

As many of you know Gary Baines, Chairman and founder of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, has been researching Shoreham and Littlehampton Forts for 25 years now. In that time Gary made a connection with a gentleman called Paul Bristow - Gary's first email contact was 2004... Paul is now one of the directors of the Dunkirk 1940 Museum which is based at Fort Luton, in Chatham Kent and it was whilst visiting Fort Luton that Gary bumped into Paul again.

The Trustees decided that it would be a great idea if we shared the exhibition space in the Nissen hut with other interest groups. This means that we benefit from someone else's knowledge and expertise and they benefit from reaching a wider audience. Paul was delighted to have been asked if he would like to provide an exhibition for us and he was only too pleased to be able to offer his support to us too.

On 24th March Paul drove all the way to Shoreham Fort to install his exhibition. It was a really busy day on site and many people had the privilege of seeing the new addition on it's first day.

Our very own Craig interviewed Paul whilst he was on site, and this can be viewed here.

Paul's exhibition will be available to see in the Nissen hut, when we are on site, until our Military History Weekend on 1st ~ 2nd June.

If you think you have a subject, that would make an interesting temporary display at Shoreham Fort, then please get in touch with Gary by email: and he will talk you through the process.



Last but by no means least... – 26th March 2019

When we said WOW what a month, we really weren't joking...

March 2019 will go down in the diary as the month which put a smile back on our faces after an exceptionally tough three years. We won't go into details but those who know us, know...

Back in October 2018 a lovely lady and gentleman came up to Food for Fort and started to talk to Sharon. The couple were really engaged and really enthused about what we do on site and and they wanted to help. Sharon received an email the next day from Sarah P and just WOW to the credentials that Sarah shared with her.

From that first communication a fantastic working relationship and friendship was formed and Sarah got stuck straight in with contacting other groups and networking in areas that she knew would help the project progress. Sarah's background meant that she was willing and able to become the Friends of Shoreham Fort's Curator and she is kindly doing this as a volunteer.

With Sarah P coming on board it meant that we had someone with the knowledge of funding bids and there's nothing quite like throwing someone in at the deep end when you ask them to help and then let them know that the deadline is only a few weeks away. Sarah accepted the challenge and between her and Sharon and many 4am finishes, the application was ready to be submitted.

If anyone has applied for a Heritage Lottery Fund they will know that a huge amount of effort is required in completing their applications and then there is the nail biting wait to hear back from them to see if you have been successful. The form was submitted on 'deadline day' and then we waited...

Thankfully for us HLF came back to us relatively quickly and we were given the fantastic news that we had been successful. This meant that a project that had been in the planning since 2014, when we won £10,000 from Adur District Council's Pot of Gold, was now a reality. We were unable to announce the award immediately as we had to wait for approval of our press release by HLF but the day we received the High Sheriff's Award was the day that we announced to all our volunteers that the money was our and this amazing project was going to actually happen

Anyone who has had a presentation or tour, over the last 4 year will have seen our vision of this project in the form of a digital walk-through. For those who haven't seen it, here is a snippet of that amazing video.


WWI Memorial Training Trench

The project is to create a WWI Memorial Training Trench as a tribute to all those brave boys who were trained in the numerous camps in Shoreham, Southwick and Portslade.

Gary Baines and Trevor Povey have been extensively researching the WWI camps and there are far more than anyone could begin to imagine. It has been really eyeopening how many there actually are.

There is still some paperwork to complete in the background but this is progressing nicely and once we have everything in place we will let you all know how you can come and get involved.

In the meantime, if you haven't seen the video, then please come and see us on site as it's usually on a loop in the Nissen hut on our Find Out More Days, the next one being this Sunday, 7th April. The volunteers are on site between 11:00~16:00 and would love to see you. Food for Fort will be open for a cuppa or a cold drink too.



Upcoming events


Want to help?

We're always in need of equipment, tools, and items at the fort... If you're able to help, or have contact with someone who can, then please let us know


There's always plenty of jobs to be done at the Fort, from the heavy duty digging & archaeology, to lighter duties such as weeding, painting, or even just making a cup of tea. Come along and join us at one of our Find out more days, or contact us to find out more.


Do you recognise one of these names? Perhaps a family member or friends family?

  • A. G. Burstow
  • G. Groves
  • F. Scrase

Let us know - They might be connected to the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers who were based at Shoreham. Any information is greatly appreciated.


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