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Report - RAF St Lawrence buried reserves - Dec 2015


Regular User

This site was posted a few times around 2007 just before we did the Isle of Wight ROTOR but no one ever got inside the reserves. There have been a few changes to the site over the last 9 years, the standby set house and some cement huts adjacent are being converted into private accommodation and artists studios, however the buried transmitter and receiver block remain in much the same condition.

RAF St Lawrence was built in 1941 primarily as a buried reserve for the home chain radar station at Southbourne near Bournemouth, and also as a reserve for nearby RAF Ventnor. The height finding from the site was found to be particularly good and from 1942 the station was operated 24 hours a day in addition to the two aforementioned sites. Work at the station ended in 1947.


An interesting but anecdotal story about an invasion by a group of German commandos at RAF St Lawrence is well known locally, apparently the Germans dismantled part of the radio equipment, took two prisoners and escaped.

Late last year we decided to pay the site another visit, this time with SRT equipment, and took a look around the buried buildings. Some of the external shots are from a more recent visit.





The converted huts


and a couple of internal shots



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