Jersey War Tours

This tower is a true Martello, and was the last tower to be built in Jersey. It was constructed in 1837, and named after Queen Victoria to commemorate her accession to the throne. Victoria Tower would have been one of the first military buildings to be constructed under the reign of the newly crowned queen.

The purpose of the tower was to prevent the enemy landing at Anne Port and to prohibit access to Mont Saint Nicolas, thus safe-guarding Mont Orgueil. Following a survey of the island's fortifications by Lieut.-Colonel G. G. Lewis (the Commanding Officer of the Royal Engineers), in 1831, the Defence Committee ordered a series of forts to be built. The tower was constructed under the guidance of Lieutenant-Colonel K. H. Oldfield, the Commanding Engineer in Jersey.

During the 20th century, the German occupying forces also fortified this hill-top, but most of their works are now inaccessible. The requisitioned land was used as the headquarters for the 2nd Battalion Artillery Regiment 3, who built 3 bunkers. One had eight rooms and was used as a telephone exchange. The others were 2 roomed and served as sleeping quarters for the troops. The Germans heavily armed Victoria Tower and equipped it with flame-throwers and machine-guns. The tower also had an anti-aircraft position mounted on the roof.

Information Source: National Trust for Jersey.

WWII info:

Location: The Strongpoint Victoria Tower, between Resistance Nest Gorey Harbour and Resistance Nest Archirondel Tower, lies somewhere on the land side behind Resistance Nest Mount Orgueil Castle.

Complement: Four NCOs and twenty-four Other Ranks. Reserve: Three officers, eleven NCOs and thirty-six Artillery Other Ranks and one NCO and twenty Naval Ratings.

Unit’s Weapons: Three light Machine Gun 34’s (two also with heavy Machine Gun mounts)

Static Weapons: Two 5cm French mortars, two 20cm spigot mortars, two 3.7cm Anti-Tank guns, one 4.7cm Czechoslovakian Anti-Tank gun mounted with a Machine Gun [mounted on a revolving platform and camouflaged as a summerhouse], one medium flamethrower, one 40cm searchlight, one 150cm searchlight (Garenne House), two light Machine Gun 34’s of the Artillery, two Machine Gun 08’s of the Artillery and three 2cm Anti-Aircraft guns of the Navy.

Battle Orders: The Strongpoint Victoria Tower has in particular orders to defend Gorey Harbour and Anne Port Bay from enemy landings from the sea and through fire to prevent attack from land and air. Additional defence with infantry. The Battalion Command Post of II/Artillery Regiment 319 and the Radio Location Apparatus [Radar] of the Navy.

Battle Command: By attack against Gorey Harbour work together with Resistance Nest Gorey Harbour, by attack against the Strongpoint work together with the Artillery and Navy

Exploring bunkers:

  • Always get permission from the owner
  • Take a torch, a spare and one more for luck
  • Don't go alone & tell someone where you will be and for how long
  • You will get dirty as most are often full of rubbish and may have been used as a public toilet
  • Anything you find still belongs to the person that owns the property
  • Unexploded ordnance is still found in Jersey if you see or find anything that looks like ordnance please call the bomb disposal officer on 01534 612 612.

Jargon Help

Resistance Nest (RN) = Widerstandsnest (WN)
Small pocket of resistance, these would be made up of small groups of up to 10 men with light weapons. They would man Anti-tank weapons, an observation post or a field gun.

Strongpoint (STP) = Stützpunkt St.P
Next level up from an RN and consisted of several RN's. STP areas would have a combination of weapons and different branches of the military used. Examples of this can be found with Strongpoint Greve de Lecq and Strongpoint Corbiere

Jäger Casemate was a special design and name for bunkers designed to hold a 10.5cm field gun

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