Monday, July 26, 2010
Welcome to my new blog! The purpose of this blog is to document my investigations into the "pillboxes" built somewhere between 1938 and 1944, as a defense against a possible invasion from Britain. The term pillbox seems to originate in Britain, where the fortifications were round, and resembled pocket pill boxes used to store medication. In Ireland, the boxes are typically simple square block houses.
My interest in this area is twofold. Firstly I was looking for a community based photography project. Secondly I have had an interest in pillboxes since I first discovered one on the Slane Rd in Navan as a child. It is only now that I have started to investigate their origin and purpose. Information recorded about these pillboxes so far seems scant, and any chance of speaking to somebody with first hand experience of their use in the late '30s and early '40s is decreasing day by day.
I'll bet that many in Meath and Louth are unaware of the existence or purpose of these defenses. I know I must have passed the pillbox at Stackallen Bridge (pictured above) hundreds, if not thousands of times, and never noticed it.
I would like to speak to anybody with a knowledge of the pillboxes, the LDF (Local Defense Force), the LDF recruitment campaign, and especially to anybody that actually volunteered to man these cold concrete boxes through the night in defense of a possible invasion. I would also love to see some old photographs from that era which include either the pillboxes or those that guarded them. If you have information feel free to comment below, but contact information is best passed to me by email to irishpillbox(at)gmail.com (rather than post your contact info on a public blog, which this is).