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Home arrow The Lines Today arrow Signals Reconstruction

Monte Socorro Historical Reconstruction Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
As part of the ICOMOS sponsored International Seminar on "The Importance of the Lines of Torres Vedras in Europe" (organised by the Plataforma Intermunicipal para as Linhas de Torres e Projecto: Rota Histórica das Linhas de Torres) a full - scale reconstruction of the signal mast on Monte Socorro (Wellington's "Eagle's Nest") took place on 22nd November 2008.

Accompanied by the seminar delegates and a contemporary military band, the occasion (on a glorious day) was a great success.

Some of the flavour of the event can be gleaned from the gallery below (click on the thumbnails)


The band for the occasion came from the 1st Queluz (Air Artillery) Regiment, wearing Portuguese infantry uniforms of the Penninsular war period from the Carregueira headquarters museum. The mast itself, funded by Mafra Town Hall as part of their contribution to the "Rota Histórica das Linhas de Torres Vedras" project, was constructed by technicians from the Portuguese Navy Museum under the direction of Commandant Sáleal and with the aid of the master and crew of the Frigate D. Fernando II. The arrangement of "balls and flags" was that proposed by Admiral Sir George Berkeley and the code for the signals followed the "Popham Code" of the British Navy.

 Of course the scientists among us would want to test the effectiveness of the system, and a direct experiment from General Sir Brent Spencer's lodging in Quinta da Póvoa, using an original pocket telescope, reported a good and clear sighting of the mast and the message (according to the code book) - Victory!

There's more about the semaphore system on another page and more about Sir Brent Spencer here.

ICOMOS link 

Linking with the arrival of the final stage of the RAID 09 competition , Mafra Municipality organised  another historical reconstruction on 4th April 2009.

We've been fortunate that Mafra have been able to  continue this event at the end of the the more recent RAID competitions, and you can find more pictures on the Raid pages - Raid -V (2010) and Raid-VI (2011)


Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 July 2011 )
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