Report - - Ww2 Battle HQs...... Devon/Cornwall... July 2020 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Ww2 Battle HQs...... Devon/Cornwall... July 2020

steve hannaford

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
During the war (Said in my best Uncle Albert voice )
Many airfields across the country had a type of hardened bunker built during the early part of the war.
Most were built to a specific design and normally set back from the airfield,these were known as Battle HQs.
The bunkers consisted of five to seven rooms.
An operations room
A runners/messengers room
A PBX/telephone exchange room
An observation room (With a 360 degree view of the surrounding area )
Sleeping quarters
Unknown room (probably office/storage/canteen )
It was a secure and safe position where the Station Commander/Defence Officer could plan and organise operations and issue orders to defend the airfield if Ze Germans actually invaded and launched a ground attack on the airfield .

Predannack BHQ.....

Set to the South East of the airfield with a red brick pillbox at its six
The bunker is flooded to about 5 feet of water,so got a bit wet in this one.
The cold but crystal Clear water was about chest deep and shoulder deep under the doorways
Light fixtures still in place and lot of wires and debris to negotiate under the water so was quite difficult to get some decent pictures.

Exeter Airfield BHQ......

This one was a little dryer and in better shape.
Set to the North East of the active airport and on private farm land.
I knew I’d have to ask permission to see this one.
So driving to the location I was going over in my head what I was gonna say.
“Could I photograph your bunker please”
“Am interested in old war buildings would you mind if I take a look at your bunker please “
“Am writing a book on WW2 in the South West would you mind if I took a look at your bunker and take a few photos please”.
I think I really over thought it because when I knocked on the door of the farmhouse and the little old lady answered I totally fluffed it.
“Can I photography your bunker please “
“I like bunkers “
She looked at me strangely
“I do photos “
I must of looked mental ffs
“ Oh you mean the thing in the orchard ... help yourself “ she said
“My husband’s back in a bit“ she added
Think the last bit was said because she had some idiot turn up on her doorstep stuttering shit.
Anyways I walked away a little embarrassed muttering dickhead to myself but on the plus side I’d gotten permission.
This one was a little different to one I’d visited previously, apart from the obvious lack of water.
It had an angled blast wall on the entrance and at the bottom of the steps an extra room added as a Billet complete with rusting bunk bed.
Most of the light fixtures and switches still in place throughout the bunker.
You can tell the bunker doesn’t get a lot of human traffic as the observation room is completely littered with thousands of bones .... Probably been home to a predator such as a fox or chupacabra or maybe a secret eater not willing to share their KFC.
As I stood in the door way of the operations room my flashlight piecing the darkness, I imagined what it would of been like here 75 odd years ago.
Maps of the Uk,Cornwall and more than likely a layout of the airfield adorning the walls.
Probably a picture of King George the VI or Winston Churchill on one of the walls.
A commanding officer in a freshly pressed pristine blue RAF uniform typing on a typewriter at a desk,a black Bakelite phone on the desk plugged into the now decaying phone socket.
In one corner a bookcase with a wireless crackling and playing Vera Lynns White Cliffs.
A young secretary walks in wearing a white blouse and black pinstripe skirt, brown curly hair pinned up ...gold RAF forget-me-not brooch on her lapel glinting and sparking as she walks,given by a husband or lover who’s stationed far away.
Files and paper work tucked under one arm, carrying a cup of tea in a white China cup with saucer.
As she places the tea on the desk she ..... Well I think am kinda waffling now and no one normally reads this far ... so will get on with some photos ....

Predannack BHQ (flooded).....


Observation Room.


Main passage looking towards W.C (Wet).


Operations Room(Cold and Wet ).


Limpit light fixture (Operations room).


Escape Hatch at the top of the stairs to the observation room (Beginning to think this was a bad idea ).

Operations room (Water crystal clear ).


PBX Room .... looking towards runner/messengers room.


Light fixture..... Runner/messengers room.


PBX to Runners/messengers room (Started to get cramp in my right calf at this point so was definitely time to leave ).

Exeter Airfield BHQ......


Main entrance.


Main entrance with the angled blast wall.


Looking down the main passage towards W.C (converted into a storage cupboard).


Main passage, opposite direction towards the Exit.




Sleeping quarters with bunk bed ....Seeing it’s over 70 years old it’s lasted quite well ... That ain’t no IKEA shite.


Thermostat hanging in the darkness.


Power supply.


PBX room with hatch to Operations room (Goon lurking in the darkness).


Entrance to Operations room.


Phone socket Operations Room.


Blackened Limpit light ....Glinting in the darkness like an evil eye ... Wink Wink.


W.C/Cupboard...Bottle of foul tasting liquid.


Escape Hatch.


Observation room.....Carpet of bones.


After sucking on a few bones I deducted by the 11 herbs and spices this was the remains of a KFC 10 piece wicked variety bucket.


Curse you Sanders I will learn your spicy secret.


Removable spotlight with enough cable coiled behind it to reach up and out the escape hatch ....Perfect to spot those sneaky Krauts hiding in the undergrowth.


PBX to Runners/messengers room.


Obligatory back shot to make me look cool and mysterious.


Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice report, well done for braving the water at Predannick, you've come out with some decent photos. My local battle HQ at St. Eval is filled with sheep bones, the poor buggers must have ventured inside and then been unable to climb back up the steep concrete steps.

steve hannaford

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice report, well done for braving the water at Predannick, you've come out with some decent photos. My local battle HQ at St. Eval is filled with sheep bones, the poor buggers must have ventured inside and then been unable to climb back up the steep concrete steps.
Thank You .... Do love the old military stuff ... Was looking at the St Eval one on the Battle Hq website last night ... will get down there at some point :thumb


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very good report there nice to see some original fittings still in situ as most have been stripped or worst that I have visited.

Similar threads