WWII ‘dragon’s teeth’ unearthed in Liverpool and made into war memorial

Local historian and resident campaigned to get rare find recognised.

Rare World War II anti-tank blocks “hidden from view for decades” in Mossley Hill have been turned into a memorial.

The blocks known as ‘dragon’s teeth’ or ‘Toblerone lines’ after the Swiss chocolate, were found by Network Rail staff during bridge maintenance work.

The anti-tank concrete blocks were laid in June 1940 as part of the Mersey Garrison Defence. The invasion of Liverpool was expected if the German army landed on the coast.

A close up of ‘Dragons’ Teeth’ found by railway in Liverpool. Image: Network Rail

The devices were used all across Europe - by both Allied and enemy troops - to stop invading tanks and light infantry in their tracks.

The staff found the concrete fortifications last year during railway bridge repairs to improve journeys for passengers between Mossley Hill and Edge Hill.

Anti-tank fortifications in use in Europe during WWII. Image: Wikia.org

Hidden from view for decades behind overgrown trees and undergrowth, the wartime relics are now on show beside a commemorative plaque to explain their historical significance.

At Stalbridge Avenue, Mossley Hill, the ‘dragon’s teeth’ would have also blocked the road, transforming the railway embankment into a considerable obstacle against tanks or other vehicles that might attack the vital port of Liverpool.

Dragon’s teeth plaque. Image: Network Rail.

Locals campaign for relics to be saved

Local historian Helen O’Gorman and life-long resident Brian Morris, 93, were instrumental in getting the lost defences the recognition they deserved.

Mr Morris, said: "The ‘dragon’s teeth’ and the plaque are wonderful memorials to those days in 1940 when the whole nation was threatened with invasion.

“We are glad that these memorials will stay up for a long period so that people will remember at one time the city of Liverpool was in fear of being conquered."

Dragons teeth behind fence. Image: Network Rail

Ms O’Gorman added: “We’re really thankful to Network Rail for making a feature out of these second world war relics so future generations can learn about what it was like around here during wartime.

“It’s also great that Brian has been able to share his memories and that this has all been done in time for Remembrance Sunday this weekend.”

Richard Yost, Network Rail maintenance team leader, said: “From time to time we do find interesting objects when maintaining and improving the railway for passengers and freight, but this is the first time I’ve come across anything like this before.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to work with the local community to uncover this hidden history so future generations can understand just how important these wartime relics were in protecting Britain from being invaded.”