Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

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Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Evelyn Simak
Hello

Together with a friend, I've recently been helping with recording the fieldworks at Fritton Wood/Waveney Forest military training camp (from 1943 to 45), and have come across the following information by Norfolk Heritage:

"Waveney Wood was allegedly the site of a system of Auxiliary bunkers constructed in the Second World War. The Auxiliaries in the Great Yarmouth area were led by Russell Leach, who told one local resident that there were bunkers in Herringfleet and in Fritton. Local residents have identified a number of possible sites for these. ... 18 cramped holes identified, and believed to have been used by members of the Home Guard to carry out sabotage operations against German invaders."

We have seen the 'cramped holes' (any ideas what they could have been used for and by whom? I do have photos.).  We have also come across two adjoining crater-like depressions in the ground, with a section of pipe and lots of galvanised chicken wire, and the top of angle iron posts still in situ (would have supported flat roof).  Much galvanised chicken wire has been stuffed into what we think might have been passages, entrance and escape route etc.  The site would have been on the edge of a woodland in the 1940s, some of the small underground structures would have been in a copse, not far from the (now dismantled) railway line (East Suffolk Line).

Is there any information at all that would confirm the presence of an Auxunit in this area?
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

CART Web Monitor
Administrator
Hi There,

I have passed this over to CART Norfolk.

They will have a look for you and one of us will reply here soon.

Thanks
Kind Regards,

CART Team
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Dorchwill
In reply to this post by Evelyn Simak
You may already have been in contact with Alistair Graham Kerr from the Pillbox Study Group, but he has told me something about these locations - contact details are at www.pillbox-study-group.org.uk/loopholesno40page.htm

CART CIO Dorset
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Evelyn Simak
This post was updated on .
Dorchwill wrote
You may already have been in contact with Alistair Graham Kerr from the Pillbox Study Group, but he has told me something about these locations - contact details are at www.pillbox-study-group.org.uk/loopholesno40page.htm

CART CIO Dorset
Many thanks, I will contact AG Kerr asap.

Update: Nine days later and I've not heard back from Mr Alistair Graham Kerr.  
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Evelyn Simak
Concerning the 'bunkers', I think I might have managed to perhaps answer my own question but would welcome any thoughs and suggestions by others.

There are altogether 18 underground 'bunkers' (2 different locations).  An aerial photo taken by the RAF in 1946 shows that both sites appear to have been in use at the time, when the woodland was a military training camp (1943-1945) which, IMO, would exclude any use by Aux Units.  They are positioned so that they adjoin each other in staggered formation as shown below in Figures 1 and 2 (by Adrian Pye).  Small, hardly discernible mounds of earth separate one from the other.
 


Their close proximity would in all likelihood have excluded use for the storage of ammunition and/or explosives - if one were to have been blown up all the adjoining ones would have followed suit.
 
The structures are rectangular pits that have been dug into the ground to a depth of about 1,60 metres.  In an attempt to stabilise the earthen walls hessian sacking (empty sandbags?) and galvanised wire mesh was used, held in place by a frame constructed from a combination of timber and steel posts.











The roof is formed by corrugated iron sheets and a concrete slab was laid directly on the ground above.  There is an access hatch at one end and a vent at the other.  Remains of what appears to be plywood have been found on the floor.  Each of these pits measures about 1,60 by 3,50 metres.  
 
In the course of recent forestry work most were damaged (collapsed) because the concrete slab forming the roof broke under the weight of heavy machinery driving over it.
 
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Glenn Leech
In reply to this post by CART Web Monitor
Please note Rusty Leech[not Leach] my uncle, died 1996, My father William [Billy} Leech was also in Aux Units,also died 1996, many years ago my father was contacted by a Mr.Len Shreeve of Blundeston Suffolk, asking him about OBs,Len had been asked to give a speech on Aux Units,after speaking to my father,I think he gave,some 80 odd speeches in all!
My father left A/Units in 1943,to join No6 commando,and trained in Scotland,west of Fort William.
Or son Spencer in in the R.A.F. stationed at Marham, Norfolk. he has just bought me a DVD called Weapons and explosives of Churchhill's Secret auxiliary units. Very interesting!, a gentleman,called Richard Ashley an armourer,features in the documentary.On further investigation,I found he lives 4 miles from my house, I contacted him and have since been to see him, what a collection he has!, at the present time I am trying to put a jig-saw {my father's history] together,without the picture on the box!

                                 Kind regards.
                       
                                 Glenn Leech.{MOD retd}
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Re: Information re presence of OB in Fritton Wood (Norfolk)

Evelyn Simak
Hello Glenn

You might be interested to have a look here

http://www.coleshillhouse.com/fritton-st-olaves-auxiliary-unit-and-operational-base.php
http://www.coleshillhouse.com/somerleyton-auxiliary-unit-and-operational-base.php 

where you will find all our (published) information about the AU patrols your Father and Uncle were members of. The small underground bunkers discussed in this Forum thread were not part of any AU activities.

Amongst other people, we did speak with your cousin (I think) David in Lowestoft.  We have been trying to also find you, unfortunately without success.  But now that you have found us we would love to talk to you.  Please use the following e-address - cartnorfolk@gmail.com - to contact me.  I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Best
Evelyn
CART CIO Norfolk