V for victory 1945

Darnet Fort is on the edge of the deep water channel used by all the boats and ships using the docks, moorings and marinas of the Medway and I enjoy watching them pass, whilst gazing out through a casement window of 10 inch thick steel daubed with a dot, dot, dot, dash and V for victory. The morse code reference probably dates it as a leaving present from the Observation Corps stationed here in WW2 when they left their isolated outpost for a final time after victory in 1945.

It’s easy to imagine Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory passing this spot en-route from the old Royal Dockyard in Chatham (where she was built and repaired) to Cape Trafalgar in 1805 for another famous victory. Meanwhile the opening ‘da – da – da – daaa’ of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, which was written at around the same time, has got annoyingly lodged in my mind and won’t go away.

I can remember this same ‘graffiti’ from my visits in 1998 when I stepped outside to photograph a V formation of Canada Geese. After contemplating the meaning of victory, winning, success and achievement, it made me wonder more about exactly what in the world is being lost…

A squadron of 27 Canada Geese, Darnet Fort, September 1998