Report - - Wentworth D-Day Control Bunker - Surrey - October 2016 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Wentworth D-Day Control Bunker - Surrey - October 2016


28DL Full Member
Visited with @Minor

Prior to the outbreak of WW2 there was an ambitious plan to provide protected accommodation beneath Whitehall. The consulting engineer Sir Harley Dalrymple-Hay was approached to design this accommodation consisting of two parallel 25ft diameter tunnels lined with cast iron tunnel segments as used on the London Underground tube network, with Post Office cables and other utilities provided from a 12ft diameter service tunnel running between them. The whole affair would take two years to build, at a cost of around £1 million and these considerations and the resources it would require were too great and thus the scheme was turned down by the government in October 1939. A later proposal of a single communications tunnel also by Dalrymple-Hay (known today as the Whitehall tunnels) was built.

Pre war the British Army in the UK was organised on a Command and District basis; following the defeat at Dunkirk a new organisation was formed to run parallel with the commands. Called GHQ Home Forces it was responsible for equipping and training of a force to be used for the later invasion of France.

Originally the GHQ had to find accommodation all over Whitehall and West London; it found a semi-permanent home at St. Paul's School, Hammersmith. the signals formation responsible for GHQ's communications was No. 1 HQ Signals Regiment (a force of over 1000 personnel). This regiment occupied the basement of the main school building and various other premises nearby.

During the blitz the school and other premises were bombed and especially serious events occurred with the destruction of an extremely important cable junction adjacent to Cadby Hall (the London factory of J. Lyons Ltd.) just east of Shepherds Bush tube station which completely severed primary communications between St. Paul’s School and Faraday House, so a semi-protected remote site for the GHQ Signals was sought. The site chosen was Wentworth Golf Course. ‘Wentworths’
was built for the Duke of Wellington’s brother in law; later in 1850 it was bought by Count Cabrera, a famous Spanish exile. It later became the clubhouse for Wentworth Golf Course. In 1923 the Wentworth Estate was formed resulting in large country houses with extensive grounds being built around the three golf courses.

The estate was requisitioned on the outbreak of war for military use. A series of parallel tunnels were dug under the front of the club house of the same construction and design of that used for the Whitehall tunnel previously mentioned.

When complete this was occupied by the signals to be followed by GHQ Home Forces itself which occupied the club house and many of the surrounding houses and other properties.

In due course GHQ Home Forces became GHQ 21st Army Group which returned to St. Paul's School by which time (1943) Wentworth had become HQ SHAEF (Rear). Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force was the overall allied command for the invasion of Europe consisting mainly of British, Canadian and US forces and other allies. The main headquarters was at HMS Dryad at Southwick Park on Portsdown Hill (Portsmouth) and Wentworth was the rear (support and admin) headquarters. Following the successful occupation of Europe, SHAEF rear joined SHAEF HQ in Europe thus leaving the Wentworth bunker empty.

This bunker has been on our radar for a while seeing as it isn't too far from us, as it turns out being in the right place at the right time (twice) does sometimes pay off, such was the case this time. Overhearing a conversation about this place and that it was going to be accessible for a limited time, we penciled in the date we thought it would be and would go see if we could get in. well it paid off, after a little waiting/hiding on site for the right opportunity to arise we were in.

on to the pics

Entrance tunnel stairs heading down and right

Looking into the Service tunnel from the entryway

The service tunnel sloping down towards the bunker

Looking up service tunnel towards airlock

Doorway through to airlock

The service tunnel past the airlock with the larger rooms off to the left and right

One of the many larger rooms off of the main tunnel

Another side room

One of the larger side rooms backfilled

Hmm i wonder where the ventilation shaft goes ??

Crawling through the vent shaft

Around the corner of the vent i go

The end is in sight

It leads behind the backfill of the previous room

Up towards the other service tunnel at the other end of the bunker

The concrete covered exit stairway at the other end

The writing on the concrete

and lastly, obligatory man in a tunnel shot

Thanks for looking

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