Description: Just past Lami Town is a sign marking the location of a World War II Heritage Site. It is called “Bilo Battery Historical Site.
Going back in time to World War II, the guns at Bilo peninsula lent a degree of comfort to the people in a time of uncertainty and fear as news of the Japanese invasion flashed across the Pacific.
The guns once pointed out from the side of Bilo peninsula like twin fingers of death, down to the Bay of Islands in Lami and across Suva harbour to the capital. They were placed there to guard the passage in the reef leading into Suva harbour.
There are no guns at Bilo now but the story reminds us of the epic war film the guns of Navarone. The guns at Bilo did not see action as the guns of Navarone did but they were ready for the enemy.
They were the biggest guns in the southern hemisphere, and they played a part in the defence plans of Fiji during World War II. The Bilo battery had two six-inch cannons supported by two 4.7 inch guns. After the war, the guns were taken away by the Fiji military.
There was a time when the Bilo gun site was full of activity, packed with army trucks, soldiers, offices and living quarters.