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Author Topic: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham  (Read 55771 times)

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Offline Merv

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2011, 01:46:20 »
Its History has HMS Wildfire was very brief, searched on Nore Command will produce far more History, it was a vital cog during WW2.
Nore Command transfered from Queenborough around 1885 to the site.
Admiral Sir John Tovey finished his career there and lived in the Big House located in the area above known has The Admirals Gardens.
John Toveys role in sinking of The Bismark is well worth researching

The Tunnels were built by Cornish Tin Miners

seafordpete

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2011, 19:03:21 »
There was HMS Wildfire 1, 2, 3 etc all sub units of the main one originally.
 The Navy Discipline act also required each shore base to have a nominal ship (often no more than a trawler) as there was some loophole in the act that stated courts martial had to be held on a ship as there were no land bases when the Act was enabled. As an example HMS Forward at Newhave was originally (sept 1939)  the RNVR Drill Hall, but had HMS Spitfire as nominal ship which was often recorded as HMS Forward, 1942 saw the tunnels built as a Sub Command and they became Forward, the drill hall  then became Forward2 as did the sites in the town handling accounts and the coastal craft which then became HMS Aggressive. Simple (not)

Offline Sylvaticus

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2011, 18:21:05 »
It's always tricky keeping track of RN ship names, both floating and shore, as they're constantly changing. When this Gillingham story started, HMS Wildfire was at Sheerness until it closed in 1957. That's presumably when the name was passed on to Gillingham. What was the Gillingham establishment called during WW2, was it Pembroke or something else? The name has now moved on again and refers to an establishment in Northwood, London.

tel074

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2011, 13:28:25 »
The tunnels were under what is now a wooded area opposite the houses that are between Wyles Street and Mill Road.  That gateway was also the rear entrance to the barracks which was, I think, called Admiralty Gate and used by the Wrens and us RAF bods.  Just inside this gate was the RAF huts which were surrounded to window height by an earth banking.  The huts are now gone and the banking is covered by trees.
The RAF personnel (all 18 of us) were billeted with the RN in the barracks in Grenville Block. It was handy using the rear gateway as this meant that we on ly had a short walk to the NAAFI Club which was at the top of Medway Road on the left where it meets the main road.
I really enjoyed my 16 months at Chatham/Gillingham and was very disappointd to see how it had all changed when I last visited  about 14 years ago, and at the state of the underground Operations Rooms etc as these were in pristine condition when I was there in 1957.

Offline Bilgerat

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2010, 23:20:42 »
Looking at the car park adjacent to the new college buildings from Medway Road, you'd be directly over the tunnels if you stood on the right hand side of the car park.
"I did not say that the French will not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Lord St Vincent

Offline MedwayDweller

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2010, 22:06:11 »
'Scuse my ignorance but whereabouts are the tunnels actually situated, i.e. where would I be standing if I was positioned directly over the tunnels? Also, what used to occupy the site where the recently built university campus now is in Medway Road. I see what appears to be an old small brick sentry building has survived and can be seen close to the road.
nostalgia's not what it used to be

Offline swiftone

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2010, 20:16:24 »





Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2010, 11:44:03 »
The two towers before redevelopment of the site.



Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2010, 11:31:13 »
A remaining base of one of the wooden towers on site



Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2010, 13:47:01 »
And another of Keith Gulvin's photo's.

Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 15:13:25 »
A photo taken by Keith Gulvin in the 1980's before the smoke and fire damage.

Offline Mutley26

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2010, 01:12:55 »
It's great to see the various pics throughout this forum of HMS Wildfire.  As a local schoolboy back in the 80's, the site was know to my friends and I as "Seven Floors", as local legend had it that there were indeed some as of yet further undiscovered levels to the workings.

My first trip inside took place early '88 when the site was relatively unscathed by vandalism, to the extent that the glass was still in place on the viewing platform to the map room and indeed there were still maps present on the large position table.

Unfortunately each subsequent visit revealed a greater level of vandalism, with my last being sometime during 1990, at which time I witnessed the damage caused by fire.

Wildfire and Fort Bridgewoods were the venues of my childhood that initiated a lifelong interest in Subterranea.  Shame neither of these sites still exist, yet the memories of hours spent in excited glee and some nervousness exploring shall be with me forever.

Merv

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2010, 22:38:47 »
 "but i certainly remember them. I remember the one nearest Medway Road lying horizontally, before the construction work on the new MidKent College campus began."

I have a photo of that, and just to show what History actually means to these people, the one you saw is still there, bulldozed into the Wooded area and laying in a tangled mess like firewood.
The transmissions that went through that are unthinkable.
Infact the debri that lay in the wooded area pre the Park and Midkent College, is still there, they never actually touched the debris at all.

merc

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2010, 22:37:10 »
I've found some pics on the Sub Brit website: http://www.subbrit.org.uk/sb-sites/sites/w/wildfire/index9d.shtml

Merv

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2010, 14:37:15 »
Not being into the Napoleonic Dream of Amherst and the Lower Lines, and more in favouring the recent History and the parts played I have a request.
Does anyone have any photographs to the Lower Lines in Medway Road showing it with the two Towers which supported the Long wire Antenna?

 

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