“The 1940 defences between Guildford & Dorking'” by Paul Ferris (DLHG Zoom)

Monday, 10 June, 2024 - 19:15

Full title "The Last Line: The 1940 anti-invasion defences between Guildford & Dorking'”. A Dorking Local History Group event which SIHG are promoting. See www.dlhg.org.uk for more on Dorking Local History Group

Archaeologist Paul  (from SYAS) will give us an archaeological evaluation of the 1940 anti-invasion defences between Guildford and Dorking.

After the fall of France and of 1940 led to thousands of pillboxes and other forms of defence were built across Southern England, including on the ‘GHQ Line’,  the last significant linear defence before London. Was this a wise precaution in case of a German invasion, or an outdated WW1-style static defence? Or just a visual deterrent, or even something that was built primarily to boost civilian morale? Paul will use GIS, a digitised 1940 landscape constructed from modern LiDAR data, period maps, and historic aerial photography to help us understand why these Second World War defences in this part of Surrey were built where they were.

The fear of an invading force heading for the “Dorking Gap” wasn’t new – an  1871 novella The Battle of Dorking" by George Tomkyns speculated that this was where a German invasion could head for. And DLHG just happen to have a talk on this book in July! See wwww.dlhg.org.uk for more information

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