Last Updated : 24th December 2015
Hydraulic & Auxiliary Hoist. Mark VII Mounting 9·2-Inch Gun
The photo shows the ammunition hoist below turntable of the gun. The gun mounting is to the left. The white cylinder is a ½ Charge (cordite) on its tray, ready to be hoisted to the breech. The furthest shell is on its tray ready for hoisting. The hoist traverses with the gun, so is always in the correct position relative to the gun’s breech and the hydraulic rammer which pushes the shell and two ½ charges of cordite into the breech. For practice purposes, only a single ½ charge would be used to save on barrel wear. The ammunition is fed to the hoist by trolleys which are on a track circling the mounting.
The photo above is courtesy of Barry Ellis, a Guide at the Oliver Hill Battery, Rottnest Battery, Perth, Australia. The mounting is identical to that used at the Connaught and Tekong Batteries in Singapore.
From when Singapore became a British colony, some 27 gun batteries were built to defend New Harbour (later Keppel Harbour) and the 20th Century naval base from a seaborne attack. Of these, only Fort Siloso, on the western tip of Blakang Mati, now called Sentosa, was restored to a semblance of what it once was. There are remains of some batteries, but others have completely disappeared.
Of the other remaining batteries, Mount Imbiah Battery is in very good order, as are the remains of Fort Pasir Panjang at Labrador Park. Both of these batteries are easily accessible. There are, for the explorer, remains of several other batteries to be found on Singapore, but caution needs to be exercised when visiting them. Some are in very poor order, and can be hazardous to visitors. There may be more remaining than many people think, although some of these remains are on restricted land, or otherwise inaccessible. Reference is made to some such areas in this website.
The word ‘Fort’ is something of a misnomer when applied to Siloso and other gun batteries in Singapore. Only Fort Tanjong Katong was built as a stand-alone self-defence gun battery. This because of it's location, which was a little remote when it was constructed.
Admission to the fort is free, and there are guides for visitors who wish to make use of their services. Unfortunately, the owners of the Fort have installed assorted laser games in the Fort, including some of the underground areas. This can have a serious effect on the visit of any person who is interested in the Fort form the historical perspective.
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If you can provide any additional information about Fort Siloso, or indeed any fortifications which were on Singapore and its islands, please e-mail me. Similarly, if you can help to eliminate any errors in the website, please contact me.
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