Esquimalt Area Defenses
Albert Head Battery (1939 - 1956), Albert Head, near Metchosin
Three 9.2-inch MK10 guns on MK6A mounts, and two searchlights, were located here. Two of the guns were transferred from Signal Hill Battery, and the third gun was added in 1944. An AA battery was also here. This site was also used as a lookout post since 1878 for Macaulay Point and other batteries. Site still exists, no public access. Located at the Albert Head Naval Training Centre, CFB Esquimalt. In 1942 the Victoria-Esquimalt Fortress Command Post was moved from Mary Hill to Triangle Mountain, just north of Albert Head, and was also used as a battery observation post for Albert Head Battery. It was demolished in 2011 when the hill was leveled for a new housing development.
Black Rock Battery (1893 - 1956), Esquimalt
Two 12-pounder quick-firing MK1 AMTB guns were located here. One searchlight was located here in WWII. The guns were transferred to Golf Hill Battery in 1940 but were later replaced. In 1956 the battery became a Naval training battery with two 3-inch gun turrets. Site still exists, but no public access except by guided tour of base.
Christopher Point Battery (1941 - 1944), Christopher Point, south of William Head
Two American-made 8-inch M1888 railway guns dismounted on M1918 barbette carriages were located here, as well as an AA battery. American crews provided technical support only. Battery site still exists, but no public access. Located at the Rocky Point Naval Establishment. To the west at Church Hill was the naval signal station (still ex- tant). Two fire-control towers were located at Church Hill (still extant) and at Beechey Head.
Duntze Head Battery (1893 - 1945), Duntze Head, Esquimalt
Two 12-pounder quick-firing guns and two searchlights were located here from 1893 - 1938. In 1939 they were replaced with one 6-pounder twin quick-firing gun and one searchlight. A 75mm gun was temporarily here before the 6-pounder was emplaced. The harbor mine command was here 1900 - 1905. No public access except by guided tour of base.
Finlayson Point Battery (1878 - 1893), Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
Two naval rifled muzzle-loading guns were located here. During WWII two searchlight positions were located at nearby Clover Point.
Fort Rodd Hill (National Historic Site) (1893 - 1956), Fisgard Point, near Esquimalt
This fortress features underground magazines, a command post, barracks, artillery stores, and three gun batteries: Upper Battery, Lower Battery, and Belmont Battery. The Lower Battery (1895 - 1942) had two 6-inch MK6 guns on MK4 disappearing carriages. Also here is a 6-inch quick-firing naval gun (1923 - 1940). A 40mm AA gun was on the #1 gun position in WWII. The Upper Battery (1895 - 1941) had one 6inch MK6 gun (still here) on a MK4 disappearing carriage (no longer exists). Belmont Battery (1900 - 1956) is an AntiMotor Torpedo Boat battery that had two 12-pounder MK1 quick-firing guns. In 1944 both guns were replaced with one twin-barreled 6-pounder MK1 gun that had a higher rate of fire. It was removed after the war. The 12-pounder gun now on site came from the Royal Canadian School of Artillery, CFB Shilo, Manitoba, on loan to Parks Canada. The twin 6pounder now on site came later from Norway. A rangefinder tower is also located at Belmont Battery. Another 40mm AA gun was also located in the fort in WWII. The WWII Fortress plotting room and two searchlight positions (#1 and #7) are here. The Fortress Observation Posts associated with the plotting room were located at Church Hill (Smythe Head), Mary Hill (William Head), Albert Head, Triangle Mountain, Signal Hill, Gonzales Hill (Waban Park in Oak Bay), and at Mount Tolmie. Only the FOP at Gonzales Hill is still extant. A unique feature of Fort Rodd Hill is evident with the rearfacing concrete walls with rifle-slits at both the Upper and Lower Batteries. A harbour boom defence and an antisubmarine net were located here between Fisgard Point and Duntze Head in WWII. Admission fee. The Fisgard Light-
house was built in 1859, making it the first permanent lighthouse on the Canadian Pacific coast.
Golf Hill Battery (1940 - 1944), Esquimalt
Two 12-pounder quick-firing AMTB guns were located here, transferred from Black Rock Battery. A searchlight position (two lights in separate concrete emplacements) was located nearby at McLoughlin Point. The battery still exists, but no public access. The two searchlight emplacements still exist (no public access, but can be viewed at close range from adjacent public land).
Jordan River WWII Defenses (1940's), Jordan River
Two 25-pounder guns were located here in field emplacements. Two additional 25-pounder guns were located to the east at Otter Point.
Macaulay Point Battery
(1878 - 1956), Esquimalt
Three rifled muzzle-loading guns were located here in 1878 - 1893. They were replaced with three 6-inch MK6 guns on MK4 disappearing carriages, two of which were removed in 1924 and replaced with two 6-inch quick-firing MK2 naval barbette guns. In 1938 the third DC gun and the two naval guns were replaced with two 6-inch MK7 guns on MK2 mounts until 1948. Two AA guns were here in 1942. The battery is still extant, and is now a city park. Two WWII searchlight positions were nearby at Saxe Point and Harrison Point. At Saxe Point, now a public park, the base of the concrete searchlight structure forms the end of a railed lookout at the west side of the park and the interior of the concrete foundation of its small generator building (located to the east of the lookout) is used as a flower bed.
Mary Hill Battery (1939 - 1956), Mary Hill, near William Head
Three 6-inch MK24 guns on MK5 mounts, an observation post, and a searchlight were located here, as well as an AA battery. Two additional searchlights were located on William Head itself. In 1942 new mounts were installed which allowed for greater firing range. Site still exists, but no public access (DND property, CFB Esquimalt).
Ogden Point Battery (1939 - 1943), Victoria
Also known as Ogden Pier Battery. One 6-pounder twin quick -firing AMTB gun was located here, which had replaced an earlier 12-pounder AMTB gun in 1944. This battery was previously emplaced as the Breakwater Battery in 1939.
Patricia Bay WWII Defenses (1942 - 1945), North Saanich
Anti-aircraft batteries were located here to protect the military and civilian airfield (Victoria International Airport).
Signal Hill Battery (1899 - 1938), Esquimalt
Two 9.2-inch MK10 guns on MK5 mounts and a Fire Command observation post were located here. The guns were transferred to Albert Head Battery. In 1939 - 1945 this was the headquarters of the 5th B.C. Coast Brigade. The battery still exists, but no public access.
Victoria Point Battery (1878 - 1893), Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
Two naval rifled muzzle-loading guns were located here, providing part of the first defence of Victoria Harbour. Two searchlights were located nearby at Holland Point during WWII. NOTES: The Esquimalt Naval Base and Dockyard (established in 1855) and its defenses were under British control until 1906. A submarine mine field was planted in Esquimalt Harbour from 1900 - 1905. Trial Island was to have a three-gun 7.5-inch battery in WWII, but it was never built. Several batteries of the C.A. Defenses of Victoria - Esquimalt were considered part of the joint US - Canadian Harbor Defenses of Juan de Fuca Strait. They were as follows: Christopher Point Battery, Mary Hill Battery, Albert Head Battery, and Macaulay Point Battery.
Work Point Barracks (1878 - 1956/present), Esquimalt
The Garrison and Fortress Command Headquarters for the entire harbour defence was located here at Work Point. The site is now the Naval Officer Training Centre for CFB Esquimalt. On display on the grounds of the Barracks area is a WWII-era British Mk III QF 3-inch 20 cwt anti-aircraft gun, once used in the defence of the Victoria - Esquimalt area. Special thanks to David Morgan and Robert Zink of the Coast Defense Study Group for providing info on the Coast Artillery Defenses of British Columbia.