Artillery Observation Post near Matilda Hospital [????- ]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:07
Current condition

In good condition, although the entrance is partially blocked due to a small landslip outside the entrance.   Separate concrete object on ground level approx 2m to the east of bunker - by appearance could be a second airvent, in addition to standard airvent on top of bunker.   Approx 2m to rear still remains a trench, and then another trench 2m to the rear of that one.

Bunker is on path marked on map going approx due south from southern point of Matilda Hospital compound.  The low-ish metal fence needs to be climbed to descent path from Matilda.  Path starts near marker stones ( RN hospital opening etc.. ) - follow markers left by hashers through the shiggy.

Probably only about 100m south of Matilda, not 200m ( estimated from the edge of the hospital compound )

Photos that show this Place


The covering of the entrance may have been deliberate. There's a new entrance (ie a hole!) knocked through the back wall, then a tunnel leads into the hillside behind. I haven't had a look inside the tunnel yet. It seems similar to the Braemar Hill AOP, where a hole had been dug through the concrete floor, then a tunnel leads away, presumably to another exit. So this was a common Japanese modification to the British AOP.

Coincidentally, today I was reading Colin McEwan's wartime diary. One of his comments was about low morale among the soldiers manning a pillbox. He thought it could be because of the feeling that once you were in, you were unlikely to get out. Perhaps the Japanese recognised this problem, and made the changes to the AOPs? Certainly their tunnels usually have several exits.

The trenches are well dug, but I wonder who dug them? It was a hillside far from any fighting, and right next to a hospital. Seems odd.

I think the second concrete object is related to communications rather than ventilation. At least, I don't remember any holes for air.

Thanks for posting this - yet another thing that's been on my to-do list for too long!

Regards, David

PS Thanks to Rob Weir for giving me the directions to this one.