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Military Archaeology

Discussion in 'Military History' started by GRW, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  2. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    A little 'archaeology' carried out yesterday lunchtime. Relics of the 8th AF are dwindling very fast now [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice one, Martin! :cool:
    Unusual to see the inner lining of a Nissen hut still in place.
     
  4. pillboxesuk

    pillboxesuk Member

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    Just had this emailed to me.

    "New childrens young adult book in the `History From Buildings` series "World War II Britain" ISBN 0749664681 £12.99 quote World War II Britain looks at the evidence of this terrible conflict in the many hurriedly built structures from ugly concrete pillboxes to the crumbling remains of control towers shooting ranges and pow camps. Nice Little book."

    Good to see we're getting them young, although I'd dispute pillboxes being ugly!
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Ah well - beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder ! :D

    As you say, it's a step in the right direction.
     
  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  7. pillboxesuk

    pillboxesuk Member

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    Interesting you mention World War 1, although not strictly for this forum....and hopefully we're not breaching any rules!

    I'm off to France in a few weeks to visit the remains of the Hindenberg Line near Cambrai.

    My great Uncle was killed there at Lateau Wood in 1917, and has no known grave so I'm going to pay my respects to him and his comrades.

    Click on the link above for more info.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Managed to get permission to visit Cultybraggan Army training camp in Perthshire yesterday, which was originally POW Camp 21. It's probably better known for the fact that a 'White' (Non-Nazi) POW was sent there by mistake in 1944, and murdered after being mistaken for a British spy. The camp was built to hold 'Black' Nazis-all the diehards, and was split into four separate compounds for the prisoners according to branch of service.
    The Army retained it for fieldcraft training until 2004, since it lies in 2000 acres of hills and moors.
    This is the interior of the camp chapel.

    [​IMG]

    And the exterior, lying next to the camp entrance.

    [​IMG]

    This is the dining room of the Officer's Mess in the British Compound...

    [​IMG]

    ..while this is the lounge. Those are original heating stoves you can see.

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    The interior of one of the rooms in the medical facility-there were too many to photograph.

    [​IMG]

    And the interior of one of the cells in the 'Glasshouse', latterly used as stores.

    [​IMG]

    The cell's door.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    ...Meanwhile this big storeroom was created by knocking three cells into one. You can get a better idea of each cell's dimension from the marks on the walls.

    [​IMG]

    Access corridor to the cells. The wooden slats in the floor originally covered gutters, but this has been converted into heating conduits.

    [​IMG]

    The working room where the cell's inmates were put to work. You can just make out the marks on the floor where brieze blocks formed separate bays.

    [​IMG]

    A typical row of huts-18' 6" wide, and around 40' long.

    [​IMG]

    The interior of one of the accommodation huts in the German compound.

    [​IMG]

    This section of the camp has been scheduled as a historic monument by Historic Scotland, since it retains the original layout of huts clustered in groups of three. The wire fence separating it from another compound ran diagonally from the centre of the picture to the right hand corner.

    [​IMG]

    And the other side, where no scheduling has been deemed desirable.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    ...A better view of the divide.

    [​IMG]

    Entrance to the bunker which would have been the Regional Seat of Government had war broken out. Built in the early '90s, the lower levels are now flooded. I got the aerial shots from the roof!

    [​IMG]

    One set of the camp latrines, completely unchanged from wartime!

    [​IMG]

    The next two shots are of the British Sergeant's Messes, originally outside the wire. My old man has photos of these he took at TA camps here in the '50s.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another general layout shot.

    [​IMG]

    The camp's future is uncertain. People in the nearby village have set up a committee to buy it, turning part into a museum and part into industrial units. Timeshare housing will be built on another part.
    The camp has already seen much demolition; the huts which saw the murder of the POW in 1944 were demolished in the '70s to make way for a rifle range.
     
  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Great photos, Gordon ! You've excelled yourself this time....

    Most interesting to see original Nissen huts laid out like that and in such remarkable condition ; as my recent photos have shown, any left in Southern England are vanishing fast.
     
  12. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    Very good pictures Gordon. [​IMG]
    I was curious what the "fat" parts of the stove pipes in picture four were for ?
     
  13. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I would venture that the "fat" part of the stacks on the roof are ventilation fans of the vanaxial type. Note on the photo with three that there is a curved looking wire leading to them. This is likely the power connection (distinct from the guy wires which are straight and attached higher up).
     
  14. pillboxesuk

    pillboxesuk Member

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    Great pictures Gordon.

    Reminds me of that movie The Mackenzie Break.....
    Some more pics here

    Were there any escapes from here?
     
  15. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Cheers folks.
    The Mackenzie Break was on tv last weekend Ian, funnily enough! Can't remember if there were any escapes from here, but I'll check.
     
  16. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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  17. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Duly done Martin. Just getting the boys together now..... ;)
    You might be interested in a new book coming out next year btw- Twentieth Century Defences in London and the Home Counties by Dr Mike Osborne, published by Concrete Publications. Some of PillboxesUK's pics will apear in it, so Ian will probably have more details on actual publication date.
    Just picked up Dr Osborne's Always Ready; the Drill Halls of Britain's volunteer Forces by Caliver Books which covers Army, Navy & RAF halls built from 1860 onwards. It includes a gazetteer, building plans, hundreds of photos, list of architects.....It must be close to the last word on the subject.
     
  18. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Well done, Gordon - the more the merrier !

    I shall watch out for that book - 'Concrete Publications' ; I love it ! My wife is forever commenting on my hobby of 'photographing bits of concrete'.... [​IMG]
     
  19. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, you know the saying about a prophet never being recognised in his own country! ;)
     
  20. pillboxesuk

    pillboxesuk Member

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    Martin,

    Thanks for the info on Northolt, just sent it to the Pillboxesuk mailing list, so should get a few more petitioners...

    I was in France in November tracing my Gt Uncles demise at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917, however did find some WW2 archaeology. [​IMG]
    I believe this is a .50 Browning Machine Gun case. The local farmer told me of a US fighter that crashed in his fields after running out of fuel.

    Anyone further interested in my trip can Click here
     

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