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D-DAY: Shenley walking group hosts pilgrimage around historic pillboxes

 Published on: 22nd June 2024   |   By: Sophia Sheera   |   Category: Uncategorized

The Shenley Village Walking Group hosted a tour around the area’s many historic pillboxes to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Pillboxes are low-lying defensive structures from which soldiers could fire ammunition. As the threat of invasion increased during both the First and Second World Wars, explains councillor Ginny Gallagher, pillboxes were built across the country. Some formed outposts along long lines of trenches, forming interlocking lines of defence, while others stood alone near strategic structures like bridges.

According to cllr Gallagher, of the 28,000 pillboxes constructed during the Second World War, only 6,500 remain – eight of which are found in and around Shenley.

During the early part of the Second World War, layers of defensive rings were built around London. The smallest concentric line was named the London Inner Keep and the outermost the Outer london Defence Ring. North of London, the ring followed a path similar to the M25, from Watford and along the River Colne, through Potters Bar, Bushey and Shenley. At least some of Shenley’s pillboxes formed part of this outermost layer of defence.

Photo Credit: Alan Splodge

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