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Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

Article about: Wow. Love the sign and the 81mm section of tail. Great work... keep it up A hate jam with a vengeance but I love the tin! DM

  1. #1

    Default Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    For the last couple of weeks I've been exploring a pre D-Day battlefield training area that remained in use until the 1960's. Its an unusual site in that it has always had public access, although prior to D-DAY I'm sure it was out of bounds, not a large site it's now still well used for dog walking, kite flying, running etc.
    During WW2 it was used by both US and British troops and this seems to show from my finds so far.

    Now for the background, as a child I remember finding many spent cartridges just lying in the bushes whenever I visited so I thought with my search experience I'd have a look to see what remains today.
    First up are a few pictures of the initial recon showing the remaining ground works.

    The first slit trench.
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    A huge bomb crater
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    A larger dug out
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    Another slit trench.
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    Dug outs
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    An ariel picture taking just after WW2, notice the stick of bomb craters to the right I've marked two A and B and to the left the marks are a mix of mortar craters and slit trenches.
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    The bomb craters still exist, here are A and B as shown above.
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    The overgrown interior of one of the large craters.
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    Looking closely there's still loads of evidence to be found just lying about on the surface , here is just one cartridge as found this was dated 1942but there are also post war.
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    I will be posting pictures soon of the finds made and will continue to update with anything else of interest.

    Thanks for looking.
    LUCKYSTRIKE

    The last picture is a huge piece of metal 3/4 inch thick I left it there.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 4.jpg  

  2. #2
    ?

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Looks like a good location LS !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  3. #3

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Sadly my first pic is out of order and appears last in this batch but to give you a little of the back ground read below.

    My first search was very limited time against me, I was with my son searching the surface with nothing more than grade 1 eyeballs. But I'd soon found 2 or 3 post war 303 cartridges, but boys being boys my son decided to pull up a long dead small tree. In the hole below, where the tree had once stood was a WW2 .303 and a further bit of scratching about in the edge revealed yet more another 3 x 303s and a single 30 cal all WW2 dated.
    After finding that little bunch I thought it was worth a quick MD, but time was running out it'd be dark soon so I was given just 30 mins (per stop watch) to see how many I'd get. Pessimistic son thought 1, I guessed 10 so 30 mins I was pleased to have bagged 40+ cartridges from a small area.

    This was my second search I had about 1hr 30mins.

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    As well as cartridges I recovered these, WW2 pieces of Grenade, WW2 Mark 1 Trip Wire Top, Jam Tube etc.

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    Close up of the trip wire top with nice War manufacture date. Until Id found this I'd not seen one before.

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    The Apricot Jam tube 1oz.

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    1942 dated Mills Grenade piece.

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    and my favourite find this time. Picture shows as first discovered. This was only 12 inches from the edge of the only road to the site. Must have been a scary time with this spinning through the air after exploding.

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    It cleaned up well.

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    It's part of a US M56 81mm mortar, these were big beasts 22inches long designed to explode below ground for destroying bunkers and dug outs.

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    The details of the last pic are posted first.

    more pics will follow

    LUCKYSTRIKE
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 12.jpg  

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Some nice finds, I found one of the trip wire tops a while back but I've never found a bottom or the metal spike its attached too. I like the mortar tail, its lasted really well, I found the very end section of the same on Warcop many years back.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Heres the next lot, another search and the finds.

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    A Mark 2/1 Flare Trip Wire top, post war manu date 55. Ive found a couple of these.

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    Popular Soldiers beverage, Oxo tin lid.

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    Another slit trench in foreground.

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    Unidentified relic

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    Its 60mm across so am wondering could this be a part of an US M2 mortar?

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    This is the corner of a flat, quite large sheet of metal. Because of its size and it was about 12 inches down I knew it would take a while to dig out but would it be worth the effort. Feeling underneath the surface felt smooth like paint or enamel perhaps a sign so thought Id give it ago.

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    After 30 mins hard graft, I was rewarded with this.

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    Cleaned and now preserved, the rear painted with red lead and the front matt varnish.
    There's a story behind this sign. As I stated before this area has always been public access. I discovered that in 1943 three local lads cycled over from a local village seeking shrapnel/relics for there own collection boxes. A popular hobby during the war. Sadly soon after arriving one of the boys found a live grenade/mortar and picked it up his friends quickly shouted put it down but it blew up killing two of the boys and seriously wounding the other.
    Following this the Army was obviously locally criticised and to improve relations and safety the site was regularily swept for live surface ordinance and although they could still visit the public were disuaded from wandering around. Signs were put up around warning the public of the Dangers.
    I believe this is one of the signs put up at that time.

    DANGER. SOLDIERS USE BOMBS HERE. WHICH CAN KILL YOU.

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    I discovered another flat metal sheet object, well just the corner of one right next to this sign but I didn't have time to dig it out so will have to get it next time.

    As an aside, this site was swept for ordinance when the Army left in 50/60s and again in the 1980's following a local man finding a few live mortars whilst detecting. Since then no further live ordinance has been found even though the whole area's very busy most days with dog walkers, scouts, runners, mountain bikers etc.

    a few more finds will follow

    Thanks for looking

    LUCKYSTRIKE

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    I doubt it was cleaned up that well, I've done a site clearance of a WW2 mustard gas bottleing and storage facility and my detector picked every last little bit of iron up, including Bricks (Iron content). So if you are finding relics, they have definatly missed live stuff. we removed everything so that when the checks were carried out at the end, there was nothing left to detect.

    I suppose the equipment used in the 50/60s and then the 80s was primative compared to what we have these days.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    A nice Brylcreme tube.

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    another Apricote Jam this time a tin. There were several tins in a small hole the others were rusted almost to nothing but this one survived because I think its tin coated. Not seen one before but its in the same design style as the WW2 tinned Drinking Water.

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    Nicely the top is marked WPH 39, do you think that's 1939?

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    A British 3inch Mortar tail.

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    A couple of webbing buckles.

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    and finally a civilian type cutlery knife, found in the same hole as more WW2 .303 cartridges. Perhaps used by a Soldier on excercise to make life just a little easier. The handle is alloy and was very corroded when found but the quality Sheffield stainless steel blade came out the ground like new, it's nice and light weight.

    Sadly thats it for now, but I'll post more interesting items when/if I get any in the future.
    Cheers
    LUCKYSTRIKE
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 35.jpg  

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Thanks for your comments M3, Just thinking if you dug everything when clearing your site you must have found a good few interesting relics amoungst the dross. I realise you probably couldn't keep anything but was anything memorable found?
    With this sort of hobby caution is the norm when searching.
    Cheers
    LS

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Ah this is the kind of thread i like to read.Keep it up LS its a real beauty!!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pre D Day battleground Training Area.

    Excellent stuff, as per usual.

    Cheers, Ade.

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