BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

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Battlements of UBC — October 13, 2019

Battlements of UBC

Today we have another guest post from Tracy, talking about her visit to the Battlements at UBC. Are you a Provincial Fair Alumnus? Want to be featured in a guest post? Join our Alumni Program (separate from the Alumni Council) today! Unlike the Alumni Council, there’s no year-long commitment, and you can pick and choose the pieces of the Alumni’s work that you enjoy. 

 

Battlements of UBC

UBC has military secrets of its own. This defense system was built to prepare for the Second World War, but it was never used. It’s known as the Point Grey Battery. It was garrisoned by the 58th Battery of the 15th Coast Artillery Brigade, RCA.

The main battlements consist of three gun emplacements, now around where the Museum of Anthropology is located. Emplacements #1 and #3 are on either side of the museum, whereas #2 is in the interior of the MOA, used as a centrepiece. The former #2 gun pit is now used to display Bill Reid’s carving “Raven and the First Men.”

The emplacements were two-story structures, the upper level housing the gun, and the 2nd level the magazine storage. The gun pits were only connected by underground tunnels and supported by battery buildings. The buildings were large enough to house approx. 250 men, complete with a mess hall and a recreation area.

The gun pits housed one 6” MK 7 each, and each gun was mounted on a MK 2 Shielded Barbette mount. A 6-pound Hotchkiss was used as an examination gun.

Farther down, on Wreck Beach, the Point Grey Battery also housed two 60” coast defense searchlights, complete with concrete shelters. They were numbers 9 and 10 out of 10 total Vancouver coastal searchlights.

The Point Grey Battery was deactivated in 1948 and soon after the battery buildings were torn down to make room for the MOA, but you can still visit the searchlights and #1 & #3 gun pits today.