The Dry Passage

Mount Imbiah Emplacement Magazine

Before cleaning
The Magazine area before being cleaned

The gates and window grills in the photos below are not original. When the Magazine was in service, steel doors and shutters were used. Entrances to all rooms had steps. This was to prevent flooding during periods of heavy rain.


Looking down into the Magazine area. Signs of flooding can be seen. Not surprising as the Magazine is well over 100 years old, and it has been many, many years since any maintenance was carried out. The Store Room is at the far end.


Looking back at the Stairs.
To the right is the entrance to the Ammunition Hoist.
At the far end is the Lantern Room.


Water run-off channels in the floor.


A blocked Ammunition Hatch in the Dry Passage.


Holes for shelving supports in the Store Room.


Inside the Ammunition Hoist room. Lantern Recesses are in the walls. The ceiling hole for the hoist is on the left.


The shaft for the Ammunition Hoist. The two cable wheels are still in place at the top.


Looking towards the doorway from the ammunition Hoist. Post holes for shelving are visible in the floor and the ceiling. A blocked up doorway is on the right.


The entrance to the Gun Store. The inset shows the sign above the door.


Inside the Gun Store.


The entrance to the Magazine (Cartridge Store). In here were kept the cordite propellant cartridges for the gun. The cartridges were stored in airtight zinc cylinders. These kept the cartridges dry, and importantly, would not create sparks when scraped. Rather important in the magazine. The inset shows the sign above the door.


Inside the Magazine. Two blocked Ammunition Hatches are in the wall. There are six of these, one of which is in the wall adjoining the Lantern Room. Post holes for shelves are in the floor and ceiling. Cartridges would have been stacked horizontally on the shelves.

The circular marks on the floor are from the bases of shells. These marks cover the whole of the floor, and extend almost to the door of the Magazine. Many marks overlap the post holes, helping to date the circular marks as being from the WWII period when the Battery served as a Reserve Magazine. The marks go right to the blocked floor level hatch. When full of shells, there would have been no working room in the Magazine.


The blocked floor level Ammunition Hatch, with two blocked wall hatches in the wall above. Similar hatches can be seen at the 6-Inch BL and 6-Innch QF emplacements at Fort Siloso. Marks from shells stored there are visible.


The Entrance to the Lantern Room.
A blocked doorway into the dry area is at the far side of the room.

I think that the area between the blocked hatches once constituted the Shell Store. I have no absolute proof of this, but it seems the logical place. The room in which the Ammunition Hoist was shows clear evidence of having a lot of shelving which took up a considerable amount of floor space. Whilst it would be feasible to keep shells on shelves, or at least on wooden racks, extra handling, time and effort would be required to tip/move them on to trollies to take to the hoist. Far quicker to have them stored upright, as was the case in other magazines, and tip them on to a trolly to push to the hoist.

Hoist shaft
The Shaft for the Ammunition Hoist.

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