Oct 162018
 

Weeley OB in Essex has been found by brothers Gary and Mark Binden. They are both interested in WW1 & WW2  fortifications & regularly travel up & down the country tracking down & photographing them.

As Weeley is on their doorstep they were determined to find it, so after several trips to the woods & a lot of research they have tracked it down.
Only half remains but they have kindly shared their findings with us.
We know who would have used this base but can anyone help us learn more?

Sgt Roger Weeley, who lived in Edgewood House, Weeley Heath

Cpl Joseph J Webb

Cpl Basil G Deeks

Pte George F Wallace

Pte Reginald T Bruce

Pte Edward D Piper

Pte Frederick E Martin

Known as “Squire” Weeley, Roger shocked interviewer Ivan Cutting in 1986 when he revealed his wartime role.

Recruited directly by Andrew Croft, who had only just returned from Norway, he was telephoned on a Sunday to recruit 6 men to form the Patrol by Wednesday. They were soon issued with 2-3 hundred weight of explosives which were stored in small dumps, one in the Squire’s pigsty. In return for a couple of rabbits they “borrowed” a local digger to dig out for their OB and created an entrance through a old holly tree.

The patrol tested the local military defences many times and were always successful.

“We were taught to look after ourselves” said Squire Weeley.

Many thanks to Gary and Mark.

  One Response to “Essex O.B. Discovery !!”

  1. The old chairman of the East Essex Aviation museum Albert Scott of Clacton told me where the bunker was located as he and his friends used to play in it after the war . The ” Squire” used to chase them off his land on a regular basis . I joined the museum after moving to the locality in 2006 . I had been looking for OBs near the Dorset Coast as we lived at Moreton nr. what once was RAF Warmwell . Lulworth Castle and Tilly Whim quarries had been mentioned by some older residents as being candidates for bunkers . At Moreton Station is a deep hole from excavating clay which is now full of water . According to locals it is also full of steam tractors and equipment used at Warmwell , but it is too dangerous to swim or dive because of the risk of being trapped underwater . Unfortunately we didn’t live there long enough to follow any of this information up .
    A few years later around 2009 my son , wife and I decided to have look around the Wood and found its location exactly where Albert said it was ,but was covered over and there was a crater where half had been demolished . We were expecting a similar fate as the one at Thorpe Hall about 2-3 miles North which was completely demolished but had recovered some artefacts including a large stamped steel and brass water urn which is now a flower pot in a friend’s garden ! There were remains of timber and mesh beds and a lot of brick and concrete . The new owners said they didn’t know that was down there and said we could keep the urn . I think Thorpe Hall is now a health spa having changed hands again ! The site overlooks Weeley Wood across the shallow valley ..
    Since then we have found others which were not well known in the area including artefacts , ammunition caches etc .
    Saddening to report that one of the 2 at Brightlingsea had been filled with concrete by the Engineers . That one being next to Autosmith , a garage on the hill opposite what was once a water tower . According to a local newspaper the escape tunnel being dug toward the wood opposite ( now a housing estate) collapsed leaving the local authorities to explain what wood was doing in the hole they claimed was due to spring washout ! The other at Aldous’ removed after the ship yard closed .
    The cache of ammunition confirmed another at St Osyth including parts of the escape tunnel from Hill House Farm (overlooking the Priory and Colne estuary).
    With Thorpe , Weeley , Thorrington , St Osyth , Brightlingsea forming a pattern led to another which has yet to be confirmed at East Mersea overlooking the Colne . The museum there has come up with some very interesting information about the site , particularly how it fell into MOD hands .
    Clearly Tendering , with its possible invasion landing beaches and small ports had more than its fair share of OBs . Another is suspected at Wrabness woods ( Wrabness was the site of an explosives and sea mine facility operating in conjunction with Landguard Fort ). A very active Homeguard unit was also based at Gt .Bently and a visitor to the museum had claimed that they had found some documents relating to Aux activities , in the roof space including various manuals . A photo of the Gt.Bently unit is on display in the museum .
    By. Bentley has a railway station and again a likely candidate for an OB . The photo probably contains its members .
    Looking at their disposition across the peninsula , I think it is safe to say that they had intended to use these forces in conjunction with the Colchester Stop Line to prevent an invasion force heading straight for the industrial Midlands .
    Others were allocated to destroy railway links and port facilities on the Colne of which there were many . Colchester being a garrison town would also be defended and there are many defensive positions still left standing around the town itself under various disguises to which units could fall back on .
    I hope this is of interest to those who live in the Tendering area as much of this info has been sent to CART already .

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