Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A little bit more history...

I've been doing some research since the weekend, and today I managed to track down and speak on the phone to a relative of the family who originally purchased the property immediately after the war (at a time when both my house and my next door neighbour's house occupied the same larger plot). During our conversation he told me some interesting things.

Firstly, he said that it was his understanding that the tunnels (note the plural - I'll come back to that) at the property were sealed up shortly after the war - he thought it was around 1947. Unfortunately, if true, that would mean that there would have been plenty time for any good stuff to have been removed

Indeed, he also said that he thought that part of the property back then had been used by the Germans as an armoury of sorts, and he said that he recalled that the authorities (the British Forces) came onto the site after the war and took a lot of munitions away. Perhaps this explains the presence of British rifles?

When I asked about why the tunnels had been sealed he said that he thought his relative had been concerned about safety in general, although when I then explained the location of the tunnel that I have found, he said that that wasn't the one that one that caused the main concern He then recounted that the British army had been called in to investigate another tunnel which purportedly ran back unerground into the hillside. He said that there was talk that this was a long tunnel, which might link up elsewhere, and that after the soldiers had done their inspection, they collapsed the rockface and sealed up the entrances.

Could this, i wondered, explain the large spread of spoil in between the excavated tunnel entrance and the garage, which also extends behind the garage (the pyramid shaped part of the slope on which the pine trees are growing)?



Now the sort of tunnelling that the Germans built into solid rock was a very different affair to what I have found so far. And anyone who's visited the German Underground hospital here will know what these can sometimes look like: http://www.digitaljersey.co.uk/tourism/H08/index.htm

Who knows what is hidden under those rocks then? Whatever is there, even if its nothing, is certainly well buried.

He also mentioned that there was an underground room which had been used by the Germans somewhere behind the house, which had later been used as a water tank.

That prompted me to lift some man hole covers, specifically this one....

which revealed...


A brick vaulted chamber, filled almost to the top with what appeared to be builders rubble, rubbish and dirty water. Nice! I've no idea how deep it is at the moment, but can only assume that it was filled by lazy builders when the property was extended in the 80s.

The last thing he told me was that another relative might be able tell me more, and promptly gave me his email abroad, so I've dropped him a line too


Finally, I also made another (unrelated - I think) military find. Although I've lived at this house for a few years now, it is still yielding some interesting discoveries. When poking around in an old shed yesterday, I found this:


Some of you may wonder how I could be so patently unobservant to have missed it before. Well the truth is, it was under a pile of old wood, junk and spiderwebs, and I hate spiders. But I thought it now needed to be checked.

So I opened it, genuinely not sure what I would find, only to see it was empty. What was interesting though was the fact it still looked new inside, and that the packing label was still clearly legible.



Any armourers care to explain?


14 comments:

Ted said...

I'm guessing Ammo box for 105MM High Explosive Howizer shells...?

Great blog btw - very addictive!

Richard said...

As ted said it looks like a munition box for 105mm shells.

Cart 105 MM= 105mm Cartridge/Shell
HOW = Howitzer
H.E. = High Explosive

Fuze and primer codes are just what was in the shells.

So to sum up it looks like there may have been an artillery installation there :)

Also, great blog. very interesting!

Dennis said...

ooooh i like the (Aust) label - made in Australia perhaps?

The dates appear to be from the mid 1960's though....

rob said...

Right, if this place is riddled with tunnels, time to step it up a gear. Ground penetrating radar?

Aaron! said...

http://www.defence.gov.au/dmo/news/ontarget/oct07/rw.cfm

Basically they're an Australian Spec 105mm Howitzer Shell crate.

More than likely at some point an Aussie exServiceman or someone simply making use of the ammo crates as packing cases lived or moved through your house.

Ted said...

That underground room needs draining and cleaning out - looks like a superb poker den to me! ;)

Gaz said...

Why isn't my house as interesting as yours?

Great blog, very interesting. And I concur with the ground radar. Or just start digging wildly!

Alan said...

this has been a great blog.

well done on the find and hope theres more things to find out

Onuris said...

Keep up the good work! Try to find rockpiles or small vales which don't belong in the natural surroundings. My vote also goes to ground radar! Cheers from Hungary :)

captain awsome said...

The brick vaulted chamber begs to be pumped!

rob said...

Christ, I was joking about the GPR. Looks like you'll have to now though, the mob has spoken...

Ted said...

A paypal link on the blog could help towards hiring one...?

Me said...

How about calling the time team in?

Ash said...

I am totally hooked - please keep the updates coming!