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GIBRALTAR WALKS THROUGH HISTORY

04.08.08 - 15:03 -

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Military history brought to life
Sgt Maj Pete Jackson (left) and Dr Darren Fa (right) explain that the carbon rod found on the ground was used in a WW2 searchlight battery.
In the final Walk through History of the current series, Dr Darren Fa and Sergeant Major Pete Jackson brought the military history of Windmill Hill to life. Listening to this fascinating history and scrambling over old gun emplacements were a group of about thirty – teenagers, parents and, in some cases, grandparents.
‘This is the fourth year we’ve done this Walk,’ explained Dr Fa. ‘And I have a huge waiting list for it.’
The group gazed out to see where the barracks at Buena Vista had once been joined to Windmill Hill by a bridge over the Europa Pass and they listened as Sgt Maj Jackson explained that, only this week, the remains of a World War Two searchlight position had been revealed when bushes were cut down.
Everyone was fascinated by the history of the many gun batteries, such as Genista battery, Edward VII’s battery, South battery, Upper battery, Buffadero battery – and then the group switched on their torches for a very dark visit to the underground Middle Hill Magazine.
Today Buffadero Village is used to train troops in the skills of Fighting In Built-Up Areas (FIBUA) but Sgt Maj Jackson explained that he still knows some Gibraltarians who were living in the village up to the start of World War Two.
‘I like to learn about the history of Gibraltar,’ said Dylan Dalli. ‘But I’ve never been up to Buffadero before.’
‘It is important for the public to see this important part of the Rock,’ said Sgt Maj Jackson. ‘The military are just the custodians of Windmill Hill but we are certainly not the owners of it.’
‘My aim has been to explain the ways in which Gibraltar has been defended over the years,’ added Dr Fa. ‘Many of these defences can still be seen today. We can stand people on a spot where they can see how difficult it would have been to attack Gibraltar from the south.’
The group were obviously fascinated by their Walk through History as they hung on to Dr Fa’s every word. ‘Today has been excellent, said Sergio Sacramento. ‘Our speakers were real experts and their knowledge brought it all home to me.’
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