Moving from one home to another is always a stressful yet exciting time. On the one hand, the actual act of moving is generally very strenuous and chaotic. On the other hand, a new house can be a place for a family to have new beginnings, new memories, and new adventures.
Lisa Marie Camps, a young mom of four kids, recently moved into a new house. But she never expected that one of the family’s new adventures would be the discovery of an incredible, historical find!
Lisa and her family settled into their new house in early November 2017, just a few weeks ago. Soon after, she noticed an unmarked manhole cover on her property. When she finally peered inside, she found something amazing: a secret World War II bomb bunker!
Scroll through to learn more about this historical discovery.
Thumbnail Photo: SWNS
Bunkers and air-raid shelters were extensively used during several 20th century wars, including World War II.
Bunkers are a defensive structure used to protect people and materials from falling bombs and other attacks during wartime (though they can also be used as protection from tornadoes).
Lisa discovered her new home’s secret bunker after moving in and becoming intrigued by an unmarked manhole cover.
It turned out that the cover led to a secret World War II bunker buried beneath the home’s garden!
Lisa turned to local historians for more information.
Then, she decided to open up the mysterious entrance.
Lisa found that beneath her garden in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire was a rubble-filled, large air-raid shelter dating back to World War II.
The house is next to the former site of British Acoustic Films (a company that left London in the midst of the war in 1941 to avoid the Blitz), which might give a clue as to what the bunker was used for.
Local history buffs aren’t 100% certain why the shelter is there, but they suspect it may have been for BAF’s workers.
Gloucestershire County Council’s archaeology department told SWNS:
“It looks as though the house was built after the air-raid shelter was put in for the British Acoustic Films Factory. Records show that the Eastern Avenue estate was built in 1949 so I am guessing the shelter was built for the factory workers and was too much hassle to remove when they built the houses. Given this, there is a distinct possibility that it will be larger than a domestic shelter and may therefore be more extensive than it looks.”
Another theory is that the shelter may have been used by Britain’s Home Guard during the war.
The Home Guard (nicknamed “Dad’s Army”) operated in the early 1940s and was composed of 1.5 million local volunteers who were ineligible for military service. Their job was to act as a back-up defensive force — the last line of defense in case Nazi Germany and their allies invaded the United Kingdom.
“I don’t think we have absolute clarity about its use and purpose. It seems that it was possibly used by the Home Guard. But the many decades that have passed since the shelter was in service has left few clues as to its precise purpose,” Gerald Cooke, one of the local historians helping Lisa, told SWNS. “Some decades ago it appears that items were found in the shelter. It was in-filled and today we started to clear the rubble inside the building.”
Lisa explained what she’s intending to do with the bunker:
“We’ve started trying to dig it out as it would be amazing to show the local kids this unique bit of history. I really want this to be a community thing and help teach our children about the Second World War. It’s very exciting to find this in our garden. I love Second World War history and my mission now is to find out exactly why it’s here.”
The house was owned by an elderly couple prior to Lisa and her family moving in, from the 1950s onward. But the bunker is actually older than the house.
The elderly couple’s daughter-in-law told Lisa that when her husband was a child growing up in the house in the early 1950s, the bunker was still accessible. When he once ventured inside, he found a bayonet and other World War II artifacts.
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