13-inch mortar                
16pr RML                
64pr Garrison carriage                
7-inch RBL                
16pr RML horsedrawn                
64pr blocked-up carriage                
On Manoeuvres                
Building of the Verne Citadel, Portland - Illustrated Times 1862                
Magazine sign, Synewood Battery, IoW                
Sligo Militia at Verne Quarry HA Battery, Portland August 1900                

Meetings / Events

23/09/2017 - PFS 2017 Outing to Fort Burgoyne
 
The PFS Annual Outing this year will be on the 23rd September to Fort Burgoyne, Dover, not visited by the Society as an organised visit before.
As with previous years the outing will begin and end at Fort Nelson, departing 0800 sharp and returning around 2000. Full details of the outing and an application form will be available in due course
 
27/09/2017 - Members' Photo Evening

PFS members are invited to share their fortification photographs with those at the meeting.

 
14/10/2017 - PFS Annual General Meeting
The PFS 2017 Annual General Meeting will be held on the 14th October 2017 at Fort Nelson, commencing at 1400hrs. All PFS members are welcome to attend.        
 

News

       

The Western Heights Preservation Society are pleased to announce their Spring Open Weekend. On the 20th and 21st May the Drop Redoubt fort and Grand Shaft staircase will be open to explore from 10:00 – 17:00 both days.

...> read more
 
                                                                
The PFS Committee is pleased to advise the membership that 2016 edition of The Redan is now being distributed, those to our overseas members having been just been mailed. The Redan to our UK members will be mailed on the 27th February.
 
...> read more
 
 

PAV

PAV Events Programme 2017:      PAV Events Programme

 
The uniformed section of the Society is the Portsdown Artillery Volunteers (PAV) who dress as the 2nd Hampshire Volunteer Artillery from the 1880’s to carry out authentic Victorian gun drills at Fort Nelson.
 
The original Volunteer corps was initially raised following a decision taken by the War Office in 1859. The decision allowed for Light Horse (Cavalry), Artillery, Engineers, Mounted Rifles and Rifle units to be formed using men from the general public to form an Army of "amateur soldiers”. Without the use of part-time gunners, it was impossible for the War Office to have provided sufficient artillerymen to man all of the Forts built in the 1860’s following the Royal Commission’s report.
 
At its peek the Volunteer Artillery movement had a maximum strength of 49,062 efficient soldiers spread across many of the counties of Great Britain. The 2nd Hampshire Volunteers were the local Portsmouth unit, and they would have drawn their membership from all sorts of trades with a number coming from the Dockyard.
 
The Artillery Volunteers ceased to exist on the 31st March 1908 when the Territorial Force was formed, the precursor to today’s Territorial Army.
 
The PAV draw its membership from the PFS in a similar way to the original volunteers. Most members have no knowledge of forces life, which is an advantage as the Victorian drills are very different from those used today. Using original drill manuals the PAV is able to demonstrate Victorian gun firings to the public – probably the best way to explain why the Victorian Forts were built. The Society is fortunate to have a very high level of cooperation from the Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson, who actively support the firing of selected guns at the museum, including:
 
 
Fortunately for the members of the PAV they are able to fire the guns a lot more often than the original Artillery Volunteers ever did, as the Victorian government was very frugal when it came to supplying ammunition to the Volunteers.
 
If you are interested in joining the PAV and demonstrating this forgotten part of Britain’s history, we are always looking for new members. Uniforms and training are provided, but you must be a member of the PFS to take advantage of this very interesting and unusual hobby.