Author and historian Phil Eyden told of the history of the Western Heights that tower over the town of Dover. He recalled that initial military construction of the Heights began in 1779 and continued over the years as the nation’s defences were increased.
The Heights were occupied by the military until after the D Day invasion and abandoned by the military in 1960, following which it began to get overgrown by vegetation. But teams of volunteers work regularly clearing away the weeds and bushes and other rubbish to keep the historic centre open to visitors.
He revealed that a forthcoming television programme, listed for December, will screen details of the time when in 1942 a team of Commando, under Lord Lovat, was based at the Heights. The film, curated by Michael Portillo, will recall that the Western Heights-based Commando took part in a raid on an enemy centre at Hardelot in Pas de Calais. The same Commando also took part in a raid on the Norwegian Lofoten Islands in 1941.
Mr Eyden has researched the era when Lovat’s Commando was based on the Heights (and transcribed graffiti left by them on the fort) the results of which appear in his book about Operation Abercrombie.