Inside the Cartridge Store

Ventilation shafts from the magazine below. Each would originally have been topped with a ‘Howarth’s Revolving Ventilator’.

Serapong 9·2-Inch Battery Magazine

Plan of the Magazine ABOVE: A plan of the 9.2-Inch Emplacement Magazine.
The Shell Store is some 55 metres long

Many visitors to the Magazine erroneously refer to the Shell Store as a tunnel. In this, they are incorrect. It is not a tunnel, but a long underground room used to store shells. The correct nomenclature is ‘Shell Store’. This is what it called on the plans for the Magazine and this is what it is.

Casemate chamberPassageway to the Cartridge Store
ABOVE LEFT: The Casemate chamber leading to the Magazine. The Entrance to the Cartridge Store is on the right.
A blocked up doorway, outlined in white leads to a passage to the Shell Store.
ABOVE RIGHT: Looking back to the chamber from the passage to the Cartridge Store. A hatch is in the wall.

More of the PassagewayCartridge Store
ABOVE LEFT: More of the Passageway from the Entrance to the Cartridge Store.
Two Ammunition Hatches with a Lantern Recess beyond are in the wall.
ABOVE RIGHT: A Cartridge Store.

Cartridge StoreCartridge Store
ABOVE LEFT: The opposite view of the photo above right. Ammunition Hatches are in the wall and at floor level.
The hatches would have had steel shutters. The floor level one was for passing heavy objects in to the Shell Store.
ABOVE RIGHT: The left-hand Cartridge Store looking toward the Casemates.

Magazine passageway to the Shell StoreThe Shell Store
ABOVE LEFT: The Passage connecting the Casemates to the Shell Store. The blocked door is top right of the passage.
ABOVE RIGHT: The Shell Store looking toward the No.1 Ammunition Hoist.
On the right wall are the entrance passage and two sets of ammunition hatches. One from each Cartridge Store.

Hatch to communications ladderCommunications latter
ABOVE LEFT: A hatch in the floor, close to the No.2 Ammunition Hoist. This covered a long ladder leading down.
ABOVE RIGHT: A communications ladder leading down to the underground Blakang Mati Command Centre.
This was constructed during the 1930s.

A Lantern RecessNo.2 Ammunition Hoist
ABOVE LEFT: A Lantern Recess in the Shell Store Wall.
ABOVE RIGHT: The No.2 Shell Hoist was here.

Looking alons the Shell StoreThe Ni.1 Ammunition Hoist end ogf the Store
ABOVE LEFT: Looking towards the Cartridge Store and the Passageway from near the No.1 Ammunition Hoist.
ABOVE RIGHT: Looking towards the No.1 Ammunition Hoist at the end of the Shell Store.
A low shelf runs along the wall opposite the Cartridge Store. The 9.2-Inch Shells for the guns above were stood on this.

The thick black cables seen in several of the above photos, supplied power to the Connaught Battery Observation Post and other areas during WWII. It was installed during the 1930s and ran from a Power House close to the entrance to the Blakang Mati Command Centre on the side of Mount Serapong .

Lamp-lit Cartridge StoreA lamp-lit shell storeLamp-lit ammunition hoist
ABOVE LEFT: The Cartridge Store illuminated by lanterns in recesses.
ABOVE CENTRE: The illuminated Shell Store.
ABOVE RIGHT: The No.1 Ammunition Hoist with additional natural illumination coming down the hoist shaft.

Lamp-lit Shell StoreLEFT: Lamp illuminated No.2 Ammunition Hoist side of the Shell Store. Just visible in the gloom are two square section metal constructions. These were for ventilation and lead down the the Blakang Mati Command Centre.

In the four photos above and left, you can see how gloomy the Magazine was in the days when the Battery was active. The lanterns used for these photos are modern. As such they produce more light than the oil lamps of old with their fabric wicks.

These photos were taken during the 2006 archaeological survey.

Serapong 9.2-Inch