Friday, 27 June 2008

1940's Recollections

More research for you today folks.

I heard back from the gentleman whose father purchased the property (both mine and my neighbours together) immediately after the war. He was about to go on holiday and said he'd try to look out any photos he had on his return. In the interim though he confirmed that as far as he knew (presumably what he had seen or been told by his father) the tunnel that I have found was used as a workshop for repairing heavy equipment - he specifically recalled that it had been large enough for the Germans to drive their loaded trucks into.

He also said that in the area of the garage , there was another stucture - a workshop / armoury which appeared to be used for weaponry. In addition to the tunnel on the neighbours property, he recalled a water generator in the stream in front of the neighbours house. He also said that there was a wind mill on top of the hill above the quarry.

He said that the neighbour's house seemed to have been used by Officers and men as accommodation, while my house was used as a mess hall. Finally, he recalled that when his parents bought the site, the upstairs of my house was "stuffed with rifles" that had to subsequently be removed by the British army.
I really hope that he'll be able to find some pictures in due course.

In the meantime I've managed to unearth some more WW2 aerial photographs taken by the RAF. I've already posted on from February 1945, which I marked up earlier:


There must have been something of interest in the vicinity though, because the RAF only risks flights over the Island in daylight to take photos of strategic or defensive positions (the latter usually the gun emplacements scattered around the coast and town). In late 1944 it seems that the RAF flew two further sortees over the area.

This one is from September 1944:


And this one is from November 1944:



What is clear is that the large warehouse in the southern part of the quarry was only built between November 1944 and February 1945. It is also clear that it was only on the third sortee, in 1945, that they managed to fly over at around midday, when the sun was shining directly into the quarry and there was no shadow cast over the tunnel entrance. However, I'm really not sure if I can see a windmill anywhere just yet!

1 comment:

the fearsome mumbler said...

hey i just noticed the road on the 1944 pictures runs on the other side of you house than you have it highlighted in the 1945 picture. but if you look at novevber 1944 picture at the end of this road is a hole in the cliff face. its visable in the 1945 picture too, a possible tunnel? :D