Household Cavalry help with Lord Airey's Project
The Household Cavalry D Squadron were able to give a little back to Gibraltar after completing their training last week. The squadron provided a work party of Lance Corporals to assist with a Gibraltar Heritage Trust project lead by Mr Pete Jackson on refurbishing Lord Airey's Gun Battery.
Pete, a Trustee on the Board of the Gibraltar Heritage Trust and a member of the Fortress of Gibraltar Group has dedicated many hours to the refurbishment of the Gun at Lord Airey's Battery over the past six months. His knowledge of the Gun positions on the Rock is substantial and he frequently runs tours of the Rock, it’s tunnel complex and Lower Caves. His passion radiates when he talks about Gibraltar's history. D Squadron enjoyed some historic Tunnel Tours from Pete before the start of the exercise. His passion for the refurbishment project was apparent during these tours but he lacks solid funding and manpower for the task at hand. D Squadron understood they may be of some help to him and so Sqn Leader Major Paul Chishick LG offered the soldiers an opportunity to volunteer and support with any taskings.
On Monday 22nd March a party of six; LCpl Homewood, LCpl Thomson, LCpl Taylor, LCpl Lowther, LCpl Holden and LCpl Mathieson marched up to the top of the rock to be tasked by Pete. Tasks included weeding, path clearance, Internal wall preparation for redecoration and several other ‘hands on’ tasks.
The soldiers thoroughly enjoyed helping clear the path up to the gun position, many found the work very rewarding. LCpl Homewood commented "It was a good opportunity to be able to help out the local community and play a part in keeping the history on the Rock alive". The weather was delightful and made the task even more enjoyable. The sky was so clear that snow could be seen on the African mountains in the far distance. This was only the second time Pete had witnessed such a view.
Lord Aireys Battery form a part of the Ridge Batteries at the highest point of the Rock, Its formidable arcs of fire and sheer dominance of the Straits is clear. Much like an iceberg, there is far more below the surface than is visible and it is this area in which Pete has been focussing his energies.
“The legacy of artillery on the Rock is dwindling with scant emphasis placed on the preservation of these old guardians of our freedom. I will continue to focus my efforts and do what I can to ensure these are not lost” said Pete.
For its part the Gibraltar Heritage Trust said “The project to restore the gun will take some time, but has been gaining momentum thanks to Pete’s dedication. The project is being supported logistically by the Ministry for the Environment and Upper Rock Management team. We are grateful to the Household Cavalry for their assistance. Should any members of the public wish to donate towards the project they can do so via our website www.gibraltarheritagetrust.org.gi and leave a comment ‘Lord Airey’s’ in the notes at checkout”