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Author Topic: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham  (Read 68243 times)

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archer

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2008, 09:39:03 »
From Archer newee.
                 I was in the RAF 1954/57 and was a wireless op working down the tunnels with matelots and civvies. Has been magic to finally find out what has happened to the old place - very found memories for me of the dockyard. Thanks to the guys that went down there to take the pics although the state of it is quite sad. Anyone else work down there at that time?? :o

merc

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 13:41:14 »
The Germans actually knew the existance of the C in C's Bunker in 1940, they had taken detailed reconnaisance photo's of the Medway towns, Dockyard and munitions bunkers near Upnor (as well as loads of other places).


Offline rossco

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 19:09:05 »
Heres a couple of plans I got a while back...





Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 10:23:24 »
Plan of the tunnels and some pics from when it was in use...





























Offline kyn

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Re: HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2008, 10:11:36 »
Here are some pics of inside, again not very good and i'm sure some other members will be able to add some more  :)

Emergency exit tunnel





Air filters



Original toilet before proper ones were plumbed in



Corridor









Operations room











Pipes for sending messages around the bunker



Telecummunications ro
om









Then and now pics







Offline kyn

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HMS Wildfire, Gillingham
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 23:36:47 »
HMS Wildfire is a complex of tunnels 100 feet below ground in Gillingham Kent, the tunnels were dug in 1937 by Welsh miners, they served as the communication headquarters for the Commander in Chief, The Nore.  The Nore Command stretched from the Sussex coast to Yorkshire.

Medway's Local Command Headquarters (LCHQ) used the tunnels after the Nore Command, and in the early 1960's the Royal Naval Reservists took over the use of the tunnels.

During the war very few civilians would have known of the existence of the tunnels or their use.  During this time the operations room was used to plot enemy and friendly ships and aircraft, it also played a large part in the role of the North Sea Convoys.  The tunnels had facilities for over 100 members of staff including a kitchen area, showers and a sick bay.

The site was used as a training facility for the navy after the Second World War.  A skeleton crew was kept on to keep the complex functional and some communication equipment was left on site for training purposes, some items still remain.  Retired Naval Lieutenant Harry Barnes headed the skeleton crew.

The site closed in 1982, unfortunately a fire was started in the tunnels not long after it closed and fire damage can be found in the operations room.  The site has been left undisturbed since then with only English Heritage gaining access, they were not in the tunnels long before they had to leave due to not enough oxygen in the air.

pics to follow...

 

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