Victoria Battery

Mauritius
Posted on October 27, 2021 / 14
Listing Type : Coastal Battery
Location : Mauritius

The construction of Fort Victoria (Victoria Battery) took place between 5th January 1887 and the 12th July 1888 and the work cost some £7,296.  When built the battery mounted two 10-inch RML guns and a single 64-pdr gun.

In February 1898 the single 64-pdr gun was removed and replaced with a 6-pdr Hotchkiss Q.F. gun.  The 6-pdr was returned to Fort William in 1904.

In July 1903 the two 10-inch RML, now obsolete, were replaced with two 4.7-inch CP Mark III QF guns in new emplacements with revised underground works.  The gun serial numbers were respectively A1 Number 2441 and A2 Number 2442.There was also a .303 Maxim Machine Gun on a parapet mounting.  One of the original 10-inch guns was buried on site by the Royal Engineers and has now been uncovered.  The two position finding instruments were removed and one returned to Woolwich and the other used for a practice battery at Fort George.

In 1904 two crew shelters were built in the battery.  A Bar Stroud Rangefinder was also issued for the 4.7-inch guns.  The main observation position for the battery was on Priest’s Peak which a Royal Artillery Command Line between the two locations.

The Fort was fully mobilised between 18th November 1904 and January 1905 because of a Russian Fleet passing through the area.

Fort Victoria, or Victoria Battery, had originally been called Conte Battery which was  built by the French.  This was an old smoothbore battery and in 1821 it was reported to mount nine 24-pdr SB guns.   There was an old shot furnace but the whole site was dilapidated.  Initial plans for this battery show it as Conde Battery.

The Battery is now built over by a power station but an attempt has been made to preserve the battery, including a complete 10-inch gun with carriage that was buried on site.  The two 4.7-inch gun pits have been excavated and the removal of the supporting earth has made them unstable.  They are now being held together with wire haw saws.  The battery buildings are largely used for storage.

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