Sea Scouts return signal cannon to Shoreham Fort

A team of 29 Scouts moved the signal cannon from the Scout hut to take up its place at Shoreham Fort
A team of 29 Scouts moved the signal cannon from the Scout hut to take up its place at Shoreham Fort

A group from 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts pulled and pushed the signal cannon from their Scout hut on Adur Recreation Ground all the way to Shoreham Fort.

Originally believed to be based at the fort, the signal cannon was gifted to the Scouts by the Sussex Yacht Club a number of years ago.

The signal cannon was used to start the boat races during the Shoreham Regatta. It has now been loaned to the Friends of Shoreham Fort by the Sea Scouts, where it will be on display in the Nissen Hut during open days.

Fort volunteers said a total of 38 men used to live in the fort, which was enough to fire the large cannons at any approaching enemy ships.

While this was happening, the signal cannon was to be taken out to the rear of the fort and fired. The sound of the signal cannon firing alerted other men of the 1st Sussex Artillery Volunteers that lived in Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate areas to make their way over to Shoreham Fort.

The reinforcements would then take up positions with rifles in the Caponiers and along the Carnot walls. Approximately 300 men would be at Shoreham Fort when fully manned.

Gary Baines, chairman of the Friends of Shoreham Fort, said: “It has taken about six years since we first realised the significance of the signal cannon that was situated in the yard around the Sea Scouts Headquarters.

“It was spotted by one of our younger volunteers while he was a Scout there and we had been working with the Scouts to return it to Shoreham Fort since.”

Members of 3rd Shoreham Sea Scouts are celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The group was formed by William L T Roberts, a Cornish seaman who settled in the town at the end of World War One.

The Scout group gained Royal Navy Recognition in 1963 and has held it since. Only 105 Sea Scout groups hold Royal Navy Recognition across the United Kingdom and Gibraltar.

The Friends of Shoreham Fort are also looking for volunteers to help with the Military History Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.

If you would like to volunteer, email enquiries@shorehamfort.co.uk or get in touch through Shoreham Fort’s social media.