Defending Billericay’s railway line and bridge lies an abandoned spigot mortar emplacement – a crude form of defence designed for use by the Home Guard during the Second World War against invasion. It comprised of a brick pit with ammunition recesses around the sides, and a pedestal with a stainless steel pin in the top in the centre to mount the spigot mortar itself. This weapon was known as the Blacker Bombard; thought to be inaccurate and short-ranged, despite having a choice of highly explosive anti-tank and anti-personnel ammunition. It was developed to tackle shortages of modern 2- 3- and 6-inch mortars used on the frontlines.
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