Point Grey Battery

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Point Grey Battery (1939-1948) - Point Grey Battery was a Canadian reinforced concrete 6 inch coastal gun battery on Point Grey in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Deactivated in 1948. Also known as Point Grey Fort.

Point Grey Battery Gun Emplacement #1 Ammunition Ready Storage and Emplacement Rooms
Point Grey Battery Magazine Tunnel Entrance
Point Grey Battery Gun Emplacement #1
Point Grey Battery Repurposed Gun Emplacement #2 in the UBC Anthropology Museum Displaying "The Raven and the First Men" by Bill Reid
Point Grey Battery Gun Emplacement #3, Museum Building on the Right.

World War II (1939-1945)

Part of the Harbor Defense of Vancouver in British Columbia.

Originally built as a World War II concrete coastal gun battery with three 6" MK 7 guns mounted on MK 2 Shielded Barbette mounts. Each gun emplacement was a separate entity connected to the other emplacements only by an underground tunnel. Each emplacement was a two story affair with the gun located on the upper level and the magazine below. Shells were moved from the magazine level to the gun loading platform level by an electric hoist and from the platform to the gun by hand. Each emplacement had a separate underground magazine which were all connected by an underground tunnel. Each magazine also had a separate emergency exit.

The support buildings for the battery included messing and recreation facilities for some 250 officers and men along with the necessary ammunition and supplies for the guns. The post was garrisoned by the 58th Battery, 15th Coast Artillery Brigade, RCA. A detachment of the 58th Battery manned the Steveston Battery at the mouth of the Fraser River.

Battery construction at Point Grey began in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II in 1939 the gun emplacements at Point Grey were still under construction and two 6" guns were mounted on temporary mounts by the end of August 1939. The permanent emplacements were completed by September 1940 and the two available 6" guns were mounted. The third 6" gun (emplacement #3) was mounted in April 1941 but a faulty bore made it suspect. Orders were issue that the #3 gun was not to be fired "except in action". The gun was successfully proof fired but remained suspect and was unmanned at the end of 1943.

Point Grey Battery Plan from the Interpretive Sign


The battery also had a 6 pounder Hotchkiss gun used as an examination gun. The examination gun was used to remind ship masters who did not properly identify themselves when they entered the harbor to do so immediately.

Two 60" coast defense searchlights with concrete shelters were also put in place at Grey Point Battery. These searchlights were numbered #9 and #10 out of a total of 10 searchlights planned for the harbor defense of Vancouver.

By 1944 the threat of enemy attack was greatly reduced and the battery was placed in caretaker status. Even after the end of the war the 15th Coast Regiment RCA continued to train on the battery up until 1948 when the guns were removed.

With the closure of the battery the buildings were turned over to the University of British Columbia for use as student housing. The battery buildings were later removed for the construction of the UBC Anthropology Museum. Gun emplacements #1 and #3 were retained at either end of the new building. Elements of gun emplacement 2 were incorporated into the museum interior and the former gun pit is now a centerpiece of the museum displaying Bill Reid's "The Raven and the First men" in a stunning setting.

Current Status

UBC Museum of Anthropology

The remains of two of the three gun emplacements (#1 & #3) are outside the UBC Museum of Anthropology at either end of the building. The third emplacement (#2) has been incorporated into the interior of the museum as a centerpiece and is used to display exhibits. The two outside emplacements are sealed but in good shape, no period guns or mounts in place. An underground magazine entrance also remains next to emplacement #1, no public access to the interior. Emplacement #3 is adjacent to the main museum entrance while emplacement #1 is at the opposite end of the building in back of a delivery dock. Public access allowed to the exterior of both emplacements, excellent interpretive signage at emplacement #1 and the rooms of that emplacement are stencil marked. Emplacement #3 is uninterpreted and unmarked. The remains of the two concrete searchlight enclosures (#9 and #10) can still be seen on the beach in front of the battery



Location: UBC Anthropology Museum, 6393 NW Marine Dr., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Maps & Images

Lat: 49.27007 Long: -123.25946

See Also:

Recent Blog Posts:

Sources:

  • Nicholson, G.W.L., Fixed Coast Artillery Defences on the Pacific Coast, 8 May 1944, AHQ Report, PDF, page 10, 13.

Links:

Visited: 2,9 Jun 2014

Point Grey Battery Picture Gallery

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