West Hill was military site

IN reply to Mr Chris Lewcock’s letter, (Observer, October 18), which mentions the unsightly West Hill Lift public conveniences, while it is unclear when and who built them, they do have some history.

The West Hill was a military site during the Second World War and Mary Churchill, (Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter) served with the Auxiliary Territorial Service manning the Anti-Aircraft guns situated there.

Mary Churchill, later Lady Soames recalled: “We were stationed on the West Hill and the Command Post was in the converted ladies’ lavatory on the hill, which caused much amusement - and sometimes frustration!” This quote is from Hastings at War, by N D Goodwin.

It was here that a visit was facilitated for May 12, 1944, when three Prime Ministers: Winston Churchill, accompanied by General Jan Smuts of South Africa and McKenzie King of Canada came to the West Hill, (no doubt so that Churchill could see Mary), to observe part of the D Day invasion fleet as it re-located from Dover to the Solent.

Far from demolishing the building, perhaps it should have a Blue Plaque!


Marwin Farm

Marley Lane