2 - Little Gypps Anti Aircraft Battery
Buried Remains of WW2
In the Little Gypps area of Canvey Island stood a WW2 Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery called ‘TN7 Furtherwick’. There were six gun emplacements, four octagonal positioned in a semi circle facing east and another two that were square.
Each section had an external integral bomb proof shelter for the gun crew and internal ammunition recesses. The placements were shoulder high and in the centre of the complex was a command post.
On the NE & NW of the site the square emplacements were sited, also with internal ammunition recesses. On the South an on-site Magazine Bunker was positioned and south of that were around 20 various accommodation huts.
On site the two square emplacements have been demolished but the four octagonal structures and the central positioned command post have been buried under large mounds of earth and grassed over for a play area. The area is not immediately obvious being hidden behind housing on all sides. Parts of the mounds have been made into a skate park area (See Photo) but many of the grassed sections have begun to wear away on the corners revealing the concrete outer walls of the placements. In the middle of the site is what looks like foundations along with a pathway.
Most of the accomodation area including barracks was demolished and replaced with housing but the large 120ft brick built guard house was used as an ECC Activity Centre, only recently being demolished around 1998.
I visited the area in Jan 2007 and found many foundations in the accomodation area (See Photo), one year on when I revisited there was a large new Complex built on the land.
The area was made Designated Scheduled Monument No.32432 in Jan 2001. If you have any memories, information or photographs of this base please contact us or leave a comment at the base of this page. Click the pictures below to view more photographs with descriptions…
Comments about this page
As a kid I lived in West Crescent so the old battery was behind our garden. It was a place of play for us in the ’50s.
Unfortunately my best memory was getting up on the top and having to send for my big brother to come and get me down. 🙂
Anyone know why this is called Little Gypps ?
I am most grateful to you for having the presence of mind in saving pictures of TN7, site before the development went ahead, searching my fathers army records, shows him as being a gunner there with the 59th Essex Regiment 167 Battery, in 1940 this being his first posting when joining up, thank you for giving me an insight of just a small part of a very large jigsaw, best wishes Colin Harvey
Could anyone tell me the official name of Little Gypps army camp as it was in 1945
My Father Joe Young was stationed for a while on Canvey, on an Anti aicraft battery. During the 90’s we tried to locate the area with no luck…(not computer wise at the time ) we found a small gunnery layout inside the holiday camp near the front though! One of his stories about Canvey was looking into the face of a German fighter pilot hedge hopping home, they were both as surprised as each other he said.
As a kid in the 80s this area was known as ‘The Gunny’ and was somewhere to take your BMX and work at removing as much skin from your arms, legs and head as possible. I recall with fondness the looks on my parents’ faces as I regularly came home with blood and lymph dripping from some fresh wound or other. “Pads? We don’t need no stinking pads!!!”
This site was known as Furtherwick TN7 (Northwick was TN8), part of the Thames North grouping.
During WW11, I lived at 118 The Parkway with my mother and sister, my dad was in N Africa. When the air raid sirens would sound during the nights, my mother would get us up. we couldn’t use the Anderson Air Raid shelter as it was usually flooded, so we would stand, shivering with fright and cold, near the front door.The house would be dark (blackout ) and cold as the coal fireplace would have already died!! Then, as the heavily laden Heinkel bombers would start to drone overhead on their way to London etc. the Anti Aircraft guns would start up, the sound was horrific!! Our mother would try to cuddle us with her arms over our ears. Then, the dreaded shrapnel would start falling from the AA shells bursting overhead!! We would hear it chinking on the road and sometimes on the roof. Those were scary times for all on Canvey, but looking back, I have often thought how fortunate we were to have the brave men at the various AA implacements, like Little Gypps, and I have really enjoyed the comments about the disappearing sites.
Ref:Ralph West Crescent Comment.
Hi Ralph, I lived in East Crescent and played at the Gunsite in the 50’s too. I remember when a part used to flood and freeze in the winter for skating. The good old days!!
I remember playing on the Gunsite with friends including John Sach? who lived in West Crescent and was a friend from my age 5 to 9 at which time my family left Canvey in case it was flooded again. I remember the buildings, dome with massive concrete slabs as a roof and some made mainly of breeze block. I used to walk through them every day and across the open fields to Northwick School. No houses then between the Gunsite and the Catholic Church. Canvey was a great place to grow up then but things change.
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