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Report - - Royal Marines Deep Refuge, Chatham. June 2020 | Military Sites | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Royal Marines Deep Refuge, Chatham. June 2020


vikingaero

28DL Member
28DL Member
Thanks for the link pal
If you went through the 2 sets of holes in the brickwork - one normal sized made up of engineering bricks and one very tight one near the drinking water tag, you would have come out in the courtyard of Melville Court and you would have been able to peek through the airbricks. Melville Court was previously Melville Barracks but had the 1960's tower blocks built on it.

I think the MoD are being disingenuous in saying that they never owned it - sounds like a lazy way of saying "we no longer own Kitchener Barracks, so now nothing to do with us". It does seem that these Royal Marine Deep Shelters were kitted out more for civvy use with the litter bins and womens toilets.

If you walk along Dock Road towards the Main Gate of the Dockyard, you see some steps going down to some bricked off archways and we were wondering whether this was a civilian air raid shelter.
 

Airfix

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
If you went through the 2 sets of holes in the brickwork - one normal sized made up of engineering bricks and one very tight one near the drinking water tag, you would have come out in the courtyard of Melville Court and you would have been able to peek through the airbricks. Melville Court was previously Melville Barracks but had the 1960's tower blocks built on it.

I think the MoD are being disingenuous in saying that they never owned it - sounds like a lazy way of saying "we no longer own Kitchener Barracks, so now nothing to do with us". It does seem that these Royal Marine Deep Shelters were kitted out more for civvy use with the litter bins and womens toilets.

If you walk along Dock Road towards the Main Gate of the Dockyard, you see some steps going down to some bricked off archways and we were wondering whether this was a civilian air raid shelter.


Just thought I would add a photograph of the Melville Court entrance from the 'other' side in the now flats complex.
859193
 

Johnjadyn

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
With so many previous reports being submitted along with YouTube vids, I shall spare you all the history as it's already been covered nicely by IKS, and others.

A group of pals whom I hadn't seen since 2019 agreed to meet up in order to hit a nicely hidden location, which thankfully has only been covered by 1 other person. Well, after spending the early part of the evening in this particular location it was off to Chatham to try and go one step even further. Still on a high from our initial explore I was sceptical that it could be bettered, especially in the same evening. Well, after trying not to draw attention to ourselves, we quickly entered the RMDR. From reviewing previous reports on this site I was expecting a nasty surprise but found the staircase down into the lower depths quite simple and all added to the experience. After we had sorted out our kit and got a trusty Olight and camera out, we were off. Coming into the main tunnel section we came across a rare sight of the original fold down bunks still being in place. A few shots later with both my camera and mobile, we proceeded further into the tunnel system which seemed as long, if not longer than our first explore of the evening. It wasn't long till I was by myself further down a certain section, which gave me time to focus on a bit of photography. As I pressed on without the others I soon realised just how vast this great complex is. Upon shooting the ablution area, which has original signage still in place, it was time to chill for 10 minutes with a drink and let the others catch me up. With so much to see I decided to explore rather than spend ages on taking photos. Passing back by a pal, I sat and watched his technique with the camera and took a few mental notes before moving on. I had already turned right at a T-junction and taken a shot of some dodgy looking stairs. Now it was time to head back to the junction and head down the other part of the complex. I soon came to a wall with a small hole which required a crawl through but again all added to the fun. Approx. 30 metres in and I came to another staircase which was considerably more dangerous looking than the others. A pal had joined me and we were discussing photography techniques, etc., when the others rocked up. They stated they had already been to this section but hadn't gone any further as the stairs looked a step too far (pardon the pun). Knowing damn well I wouldn't be seeing this location possibly ever again this was no time to pass an opportunity by. So, despite most of the staircase being non-existent we cracked on. Thinking it would be just 2 flights of stairs it turned out to be about 6!! It was well worth the climb though as there was a whole other floor, with a plant room and tunnel which came back round on itself. Another great gem found, and a first, was a green speaker which was no doubt part of an announcement system. This was a fantastic explore but it was time to go, especially as I wasn't the one driving us all home. Managing to nicely smack my chest coming out of the site, I still had a big smile on my face. A great evening with good pals in awesome locations.

Here's a few photos of the complex

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That's about it people, till next time, stay safe
Would you take me here or share pin? I could trade thanks :) my sc is JohnJadyn
 

Kidney

Weirdy Beardy
28DL Full Member
The MoD say this is not a military refuge so nothing to do with the Royal Marines? It is more likely a civic (ARP) deep shelter.

Was never civic, Melville RM barracks used to sit on the site where the entrances and buildings are now. Has long since been disposed of so DIO wouldn't have any records. They definitely did at Brompton as Holdfast provided the info for the survey before the development of Kitchener.


"Royal Marine Barracks, Chatham - Wikipedia" https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Marine_Barracks,_Chatham
 

Wevsky

A Predisposed Tourist
Regular User
Ive never actually seen this plan before!
Was in part on the Kent history forum, sure I overlaid this to locate entrance, khf seems to have removed all info and I can't log in now
 

Airfix

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Ive never actually seen this plan before!
It was part of a complete overlay of all the barracks and dockyard site, originally a copy was held in the Kent archives in Maidstone. I only copied the parts I wanted.
 

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