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Author Topic: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham  (Read 4875 times)

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Offline steveb

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Re: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 23:44:20 »
Thank you all for your comments so far everyone and for your thoughts on the site's potential as an OB. Thanks for the suggestions lutonlad, I will definitely track down the book and look into the mock OB for the next time I'm up that way.

I've always loved military history especially that which is local and WW2 related, but I normally visit well-known locations/structures. I'm not sure whether there are any organisations out there who may be interested in documenting this site for history's sake, or if it wouldn't really be of much interest? Maybe English Heritage, perhaps?

I think that I may contact these guys for the moment: http://www.coleshillhouse.com and I'll keep you updated with any further developments.

Thanks again for your help and all your interest!
Steve

Offline lutonlad

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Re: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 16:49:54 »
There is a mock OB at Parham airfield in Suffolk that is well worth a visit. Also the book, `Churchills Underground Army` is a very good read on the subject.
If it cant be mended with a hammer, it must be an electrical fault, bash it anyway.

Offline Alastair

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Re: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 14:43:00 »
Well done Steveb! Almost certainly an Auxiliary Post. There are many of them around the county, most filled in, others undiscovered.
Good for you on finding this one.
I would put a like on it but can't find out how to do it. Please consider it liked.
Alastair

Offline lutonlad

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Re: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2014, 18:43:50 »
Hi! From what I have read and know about them, this has all the hallmarks of an OB, The entrance is correct as it is easy to access and conceal. The size and layout inside looks right. Also the location at Wingham would have been about right. I will follow this with interest.
If it cant be mended with a hammer, it must be an electrical fault, bash it anyway.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2014, 07:20:41 »
Great find steveb :)   Please keep us updated .

Offline steveb

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Potential Auxiliary Unit Operational Base Near Wingham
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 19:48:14 »
Hi all, I wonder if you can help identify an underground chamber that I visited recently and that could potentially be related to an Auxiliary Unit.

A friend had been exploring a small chalk pit in the Wingham area and stumbled across a small shaft in the ground which started as earth, but after a couple of feet turned to concrete. Being by himself, he decided not to venture inside, but asked me to return with him to check it out. We returned to the shaft with ladder/torch/camera in hand to investigate further.

The shaft looks as though it has been probably been backfilled at some point, but has been excavated fairly recently by persons unknown. Upon descending the ladder we found that the shaft opened directly into a single chamber which roughly measures 4m square (I forgot to bring a tape measure). This chamber has a concrete ceiling and the walls have the top half made from concrete and the lower half cut from chalk. Referring to my photographs one of the walls may be completely covered in concrete, but we didnít notice this at the time.  It looks as though the ceiling/walls were possibly lined with wood, but itís probably now lying in a rotten heap on the floor. The floor of the chamber is covered with many piles of chalk/clay/earth along with oil drums, cans etc. which looks like itís all backfill.

In the ceiling, on the opposite wall to the entrance shaft is another shaft of identical size and shape. This is still backfilled and has a large oil drum wedging in it, which is presumably supporting the earth on top. This cannot be seen from the surface. Also in the ceiling are four vertical pipes, that look very much like clay drainage pipes. Three of the pipes do not reach the surface, but one of those next to the entrance shaft does and was probably excavated by whoever uncovered the shaft.

There are various short pipes (20cm?) protruding from the walls, that have no obvious purpose. They look almost like scaffolding poles and penetrate the concrete.

The reason that I believe it could be related to an Auxiliary Unit is that the last paragraph of the following webpage about Kent Auxiliary Units mentions "another OB at Bramling chalk pits, near Wingham.": http://www.kentauxiliaryunits.org.uk/kent-patrols-and-operational-bases/canterbury-to-the-coast/wickhambreaux-patrol/.

I would be interested to hear whether anyone thinks it could be an OB; it doesn't seem to fit with 'traditional' designs, but I have found a not dissimilar example on Sub Brit: http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/g/goodwood_au_hide/index.shtml

I don't want to go into great detail about the location at the moment, as I'm not sure who owns the land and who excavated the shaft.


Looking down entrance shaft into chamber.


Looking up entrance shaft from inside the chamber.


Floor/wall beneath the entrance shaft.


1 of 4 ventilation pipes(?) in the ceiling of the chamber.


Short pipes (20cm?) protruding from the walls, penetrating the concrete.


Pile of rotten wood, that possibly lined the interior of the chamber?


Wall opposite entrance shaft, taken from bottom of ladder. Second backfilled shaft top right of photo.


Wall opposite entrance shaft, taken from bottom of ladder. Second backfilled shaft top left of photo.


Top down diagram with estimated dimensions

 

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