A Lost Auxiliary Bunker Revealed

In 2019, a Second World War auxiliary bunker was unexpectedly discovered during deforest­ation at a location in southern Scotland by Forestry and Land Scotland. The bunker is of a type built during WWII as operational bases for auxiliary units tasked with sabotage opera­tions in the event of invasion. Bunkers of this type are rarely rediscovered since their precise locations were kept secret, and most have since been buried and lost.

The bunker was built to a standard design, accessed via a narrow passage from the east which led to an access hatch; a second escape hatch, to the west, is now infilled. The main bunker space is formed by rivetted corru­gated iron sheets over a cement floor, aligned east-west and forming a chamber 7m by 3m. The ends of the unit are brick-built with poured cement roof caps, both with a ‘blast wall’ forming a division from the main bunker space, designed as protection against grenades. At each end of the structure there is a ventilation pipe 32cm in diameter.

The bunker interior, and possible bedframe

Left: the interior of thebunker showing west blast wall. Centre: entrance and east blast wall. Right: possible bed frame

Little evidence of the internal furnish­ings survives, though broken timbers on the floor of the unit may be the remains of the original timber bed frames. An empty tin can provided a hint of a link to the last people to use the bunker.

The bunker is buried c.1.3 m beneath the current ground surface at its deep­est point; the terrain sloping to the east means that this depth reduces to c.0.7m at the entrance.

The structure was surveyed in November 2019 using a Trimble TX5 laser scanner, controlled us­ing spherical targets registered to the Ordnance Survey national grid. In addition to 3D laser scanning, the bunker was comprehensively photographed and a written record created.

Below: ortho image of the bunker, showing its subterranean position

Ortho image of the bunker