Churchill's British Resistance - The Auxiliary Units

 

The Shooter's Hill Bunker - A Zero Station?

The Shooter's Hill Bunker

The bunker shown below was recently featured on a Channel 4 "Time Team" dig and it was thought that it may well have been connected to the Auxiliary Unit. Watch the episode here and see for yourself.

Wessex Archaeology have kindly given us permission to publish information in their report in the hope that we can decide if infact we think it is connected or not. Please do let us know your thoughts for or against it.

Shooter's Hill Bunker 1The bunker structure consists of two underground rooms spread across two back gardens. The bunker has two entrances, one in each of the gardens, one at the front and one at the rear of the structure.

When viewed from the front (See image to the left) the bunker is currently very well disguised as a garden rockery the main entrance could have been disguised as a shed or outhouse. 

 

 

 

Shooter's Hill Bunker 2Access to the bunker was only gained into one room, but this room was complete with ventilation and lighting, and contained a wealth of material.

This included what seem to be circuit breakers and possibly the remains of a switchboard, and there were also a number of Bakelite electrical fittings. A drain is also present in the stairwell. The design of this room is thought to be mirrored in the garden of the property next door. The range of fittings, particularly electrical, is more than would be expected in an ordinary air raid shelter.

 

Shooter's Hill Bunker 3

 

If this was not an air raid shelter, an alternative suggestion is that this bunker might represent part of the final stage of the anti-invasion defences, a British Auxiliary unit site, designed as a resistance movement against the German Invaders. As well as the OBs there were also radio communication facilities known as zero stations, which were used for communication between units and the HQ.

 

 

 

Shooter's Hill Bunker 4The form that these structures took is essentially the same as an underground Nissen hut 

Although this does not follow the design found at this location, most of the OBs and zero stations that have been found so far have been in rural locations. This being the case, it is possible that urban examples took other forms.  It is also very unlikely that a major city like London would not have several  of these units located in various places across the city. The location of this bunker would have been ideal, being close to main roads, but also quiet enough to escape notice from the enemy. The possible escape route would have been facing gardens with a nearby recreation ground.

Coleshill House.com have looked at the location of the house and it appears to back onto the main woodland at Shooter's Hill. It is important to understand the involvement of Shooter's Hill during the war and the planned stop lines that were in place in the area. See more on this here

So what do we think?

What was the bunker used for?

If not an Aux bunker who would have used it?

Why was it so secret in it's design?

Please do let us know or comment on our Forum.


Images and main information provided by Wessex Archaeology