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Mount Pleasant Heavy Anti-aircraft Artillery Battery, Lyttelton

In early 1942 surveys were carried out with a view to establishing four fixed HAA batteries around Lyttelton Harbour. Quail Island was chosen as one of the sites.

As the threat of enemy attack receded only one HAA battery was built. This was on high ground above the port of Lyttelton.

Although the contract was allocated in November 1942, by August 1942 work had already begun.

An access road was constructed, four guns mounted in the open and the hole for the command post was dug.

Work on the battery and the camp where the gun crew and supporting staff were housed was completed in early 1943.

The camp was like a small village containing 91 buildings, including barracks, quartermaster’s store, kitchen, laundry, ablution block, messes and medical post.

Because of the rocky terrain on the hilltop site, the gun emplacements were built above ground with only the command post excavated into the rock.

This provided maximum protection for personnel and instruments. The work was carried out by a private contractor, with the contract supervised by the Public Works Department. The battery was manned from January 1943 to September 1944 but never went into action.