Coastal Battery Toward
A World War II Coastal Battery was sited at Toward, to the west of Toward Point, about six miles south of Dunoon, Argyll, in the Firth of Clyde. Known as Toward Point Coastal Battery or Toward Battery.
The battery operated in conjunction with a signal station and searchlight positions sited on the shore, which covered the approach to the Firth of Clyde, and controlled an Examination Anchorage, where vessels would have been held for inspection prior to being allowed passage to their final destination along the firth. A short entry in the UK Fortification Records notes the battery to have been armed with two 4.7-inch QF MK III guns, three DELs (Defence Electric Light), and manned by 407 Coast Battery Royal Artillery (RA) of 538 Coast Regiment RA.
Public records indicate the battery was armed with two 4.7-inch guns during 1940, but as having none by 1943. Records also note that the battery was built early in World War II, and that the two 4.7-inch Mk IV/III guns were ready for action in February 1940. Guns 979 and 852 arrived December 4, 1939, and were mounted on December 26, 1939, with one gun ready for action on February 19, 1940. The battery was placed on a care and maintenance in January 1945, and the guns were removed in December 1956. The reported records are therefore a little inconsistent.
A number of buildings remain on the site, in various states of repair. There are two emplacements which would have served the 4.7-inch guns, a battery observation post (BOP), and magazines. Searchlight positions and engine rooms on the shore have been demolished, leaving no evidence.
RCAHMS records describe this as an anti-aircraft (AA) battery, but a site visit failed to unearth any remains consistent with such an installation (compare with those in the Clyde AA Defences category). The location of such a battery here is also unlikely, as there were two AA batteries nearby, less than three miles and eight miles to the north.
The Army had a camp in the area, which was abandoned when it left in 1956. As of 2007, the field they occupied was reported to be due for development, but no specific location is known.
Artillery Volunteer Battery
The 1848 Ordnance Survey map shows a gun battery positioned to the east of the Toward Sailing Club site. Shown as an Artillery Volunteer Battery on the map, all traces have been lost. Volunteer Units were similar to the Territorial Army of today.
Lacking supporting evidence in the form of any records, or a specific location, there are local accounts which speak of a Z-Battery, rocket battery, being located in the area, describing a dreadful noise when the rockets were fired.
- Toward Sailing Club, Cowal, Argyll, Scotland, Yacht, Dinghy sailing and racing | Toward Sailing Club, Cowal Argyll, Scotland, Yacht and Dinghy Sailing, River Clyde Retrieved April 05, 2013.
- World War II battery
- Toward signal station
- Artillery Volunteer Battery
- Toward Sailing Club
- Searchlight generator building
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