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Richard Drew
12-01-2011, 18:55
3692Not exactly sure where I came by this plan & photo?? or where the store area was??

3691

Found it http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.386164626763595&lon=-1.6824853420257568&gz=17&oz=8&gt=2

In google earth there is a photo of a ruined Nissen hut.

PETERTHEEATER
13-01-2011, 09:09
English Heritage say:

Savernake

A series of ammunition storage bunkers in Savernake Forest constructed during or shortly after WWII were seen as earthworks and mapped and interpreted from a combination of lidar derived imagery and aerial photographs as part of the Savernake Forest NMP project. The main information on the bunkers was recovered from the lidar derived imagery, but there are slight traces of what might be the initial works relating to the bunkers on the USAAF photographs from 1944. There are 14 bunkers in all, the majority aligned down the Grand Avenue with one outlier on Charcoal Burners Road. From the lidar derived imagery it looks as though the bulk of the bunkers follow the same pattern. They consist of a sub-rectangular mound against the road with a pen-annular bank curving round from the edges of the mound forming blast walls and leaving a flat area which would have been the location of the actual dump.

Mostly US use but was considered, in 1941, by the Air Ministry as an RAF Forward Ammunition Depot but never built.

The image on GE is the remains of a store on Charcoal Burner's Road

P Bellamy
21-12-2012, 22:12
1943 US Army Ord. Dept. site plan:

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k227/ramc181/Continuation%20Album%201/O-675sp1_zps16324bc0.jpg

PETERTHEEATER
08-02-2013, 09:40
One of two railheads served the US Army Ordnance Battalion Depot O-675 Savernake Forest. As shown on the Post # 3 map (below) Savernake North was here:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.38703503692035&lon=-1.7018938064575195&gz=17&oz=7&gt=1

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=sjxzrwgvrbj8&lvl=17&dir=0&sty=b&where1=Savernake%2C%20Wilts%2C%20United%20Kingdom&form=LMLTCC

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/SavernakeNthSavrailheadconstruction_zpsadf65c3a.jp g

and

Marlborough raihead at the former junction here:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.41485265569382&lon=-1.726575493812561&gz=18&oz=7&gt=1

http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=sk25n7gvpggn&lvl=19&dir=0&sty=b&where1=Savernake%2C%20Wilts%2C%20United%20Kingdom&form=LMLTCC

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/SavernakeMarlboroughrailhead_zps6cf45dac.jpg

Unusual earth covered Nissen with brick end walls and brick blast wall for CW storage' Early igloo?

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/SavernakeearthcoveredNissen_zps8772660a.jpg

Unusual covered trenches for CW storage:

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/SavernakeCWSshhhhhelteredtrenches_zps8f85a94b.jpg

CW Component Storage:

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/SavernakeCWComponentstores_zpsf9afb710.jpg

100 pound crated HE GP bombs (US):

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l366/PRACHUAP/Savernake100HEGPstorage_zps2cac6237.jpg

In addition to the US Army, both the British Army and the USAAF had munitions stores here.

The Headquarters of the O-675 Depot was in Tottenham House here:

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.37388539180637&lon=-1.6427325502095003&gz=18&oz=7&gt=1

Harboda77
01-02-2014, 11:35
Peter & Richard ~ Apparently there had been a major explosion on the Savernake Site that resulted in the death of some local people ?

Have you ever seen anything official published on the incident ?

Dave.

Carnaby
01-02-2014, 13:19
Peter & Richard ~ Apparently there had been a major explosion on the Savernake Site that resulted in the death of some local people ?

Have you ever seen anything official published on the incident ?

Dave.

http://www.afterthebattle.com/store/index.php?id_product=126&controller=product

PETERTHEEATER
02-02-2014, 08:32
Explosion at North Savernake. Mike Christensen. 341-50.
The accident occurred on 2 January 1946 and was during the transfer of former German explosives from railway wagons to road trucks. Eight soldiers were killed and many acted with conspicuous bravery leading to the awards of the George Cross, George Medal and British Empire Medal and civilian awards to GWR staff. Central Ammuntion Depots had been established at a variety of locations, and forest sites were especially sought as further cover was not required.

The location of 22 Ammuntion Storage Depot Savernake is clearly shown with the help of an excellent map. The sidings to serve the depot were near where the GWR Marlborogh branch had been slewed to join the MSWJ line on 6 March 1933 (this rationlization is described quite clearly). The North Savernake Ground Frame was opened on 18 August 1943. The accident itself is covered at some length. The National Fire Service eventually arrived but were ordered to withdraw and allow the fire to burn itself out. There were three severe explosions. For a time the railway services were interupted and had to be replaced by a bus service between Marlborough and Savernake. See letter from Keith J. Patrick (Number 24 page 477) concerning storage of chemical weapons at Loton Parh, Alberbury, and letter from Denis Owen (Number 23 page 400) and response to it from Mike Barnsley (Number 24 page 477) concerning rationalization of routes.

See also: http://www.geograph.org.uk/gallery/savernake_forest_and_the_second_world_war_6660

Matt W
02-02-2014, 20:20
George Cross awards -


On 2 January 1946, he was at an ammunition depot in Savernake Forest when ammunition being loaded from lorries into railway trucks caught fire. A three-ton lorry, and two twenty-tonne railway wagons were destroyed almost immediately. Secondary explosions then destroyed two more lorries and 27 wagons. In addition to the train being loaded, there was also a fully loaded train in the freight yard, in all 96 wagons, containing 2000 tons of explosive (5.5 inch artillery shells and mines), were threatened by the blaze. It is probable that had all this material been detonated, in addition to killing all the personnel present, severe damage would have been caused to the nearby town of Marlborough.[2][4]

The first person on the scene to attempt to control the situation was Staff Sergeant Sidney George Rogerson (who was also to be awarded the GC for his actions). Rogerson organised the removal of the most seriously wounded, and personally rescued several from under the burning trucks. Biggs then arrived on the scene, and took command as the senior officer present. He rallied the men, despite the threat posed by the cordite charges of the shells being set off by the heat, firing them at random. He personally uncoupled one blazing wagon, with the assistance of another officer, pushed it to a safe distance, and extinguished it. Due to their efforts 69 wagons of ammunition were saved, it took until late morning on 3 January for the last fires to be extinguished. Even then, unexploded shells and detonators left the area, which was now reminiscent of a First World War battlefield, extremely hazardous.[2][4]

In addition to GCs for Biggs and Rogerson, an MBE, two George Medals and five British Empire Medals were awarded to those present.[4] Biggs also received the Bronze Star, as a proportion of the ammunition was American.[2][5]

The award was announced in the London Gazette of 8 October 1946, with the citation dated 11 October 1946:


The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS, in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to the undermentioned:

Captain (temporary Major) Kenneth Alfred BIGGS (173490), Royal Army Ordnance Corps (London, N.10). No. 10536260 Corporal (acting Staff-Sergeant) Sidney George ROGERSON, Royal Army Ordnance Corps (Caterham, Surrey).[6]

PETERTHEEATER
03-02-2014, 09:09
The site of the incident; North Savernake spur railhead.

http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=51.386044&lon=-1.702283&lz=15&rz=16&lt=Old%2025K&rt=satellite&lov=None&rov=None

Harboda77
08-02-2014, 19:05
Visited the area on Thursday and the local book shop had a copy of Roger Day's ' Savernake at War ' publication ISBN 0 9536601 2 5 that contains a number of period photographs including a couple on the Marlborough Landing Ground with an upside down Hawker Fury.

Apparently it was first published in 2007 and this is another print run.

PETERTHEEATER
09-02-2014, 02:46
Thanks. I missed the first edition so will try for the second.

Harboda77
09-02-2014, 11:12
Thanks. I missed the first edition so will try for the second.

roger.j.day@btinternet.com

Roger has a website called ' Ramsbury at War ' where there is a link to ' PAYPAL ' to secure a copy when your based off shore.

I've noticed that the website can take some time to load as you have to wait for the C47 to fly past at the top of the screen.

Trust that helps.

PETERTHEEATER
09-02-2014, 12:00
Thanks, I know his site but last year that I tried the book was unavailable. Will try again.

Savernake3000
26-02-2014, 15:38
Hi Peter, I'm Roger Day author of Savernake at War and I've just come across your excellent site. I was very interested in the map you posted of Depot 0-675 (Savernake) which I've not seen before, and the photographs of ammunition stored in the forest. Some of these images are also new to me and I wondered if you could tell me where you fond them? Best regards, Roger.

PETERTHEEATER
27-02-2014, 14:53
Hello Roger, welcome to AiX. I hope that you can offer information on the Savernake site paticularly the British usage.

The sketch layout and photographs that I have posted in the past came courtesy of Fold3 the name adopted by the US Historical Military Records website. Most of their records have been microfilmed and digitised so are available on-line. The US Army ETOUSA records are in there but there are thousands of pages and one needs to browse through them - due to limitations of the Search function - to root out items of interest. You also need an annual subscription to get full access.

Regards,

Peter

Savernake3000
27-02-2014, 15:39
Hello Roger, welcome to AiX. I hope that you can offer information on the Savernake site paticularly the British usage.

The sketch layout and photographs that I have posted in the past came courtesy of Fold3 the name adopted by the US Historical Military Records website. Most of their records have been microfilmed and digitised so are available on-line. The US Army ETOUSA records are in there but there are thousands of pages and one needs to browse through them - due to limitations of the Search function - to root out items of interest. You also need an annual subscription to get full access.

Regards,

Peter

Hi Peter, thank you for your very quick reply and information regarding Fold 3. I used this site quite recently whilst researching my latest project, which is a history of the western Kennet valley in the Great War, but stupidly never thought to search for items relating to Savernake.

This morning I visited Savernake and met representatives from the Forestry Commission and Wiltshire County Council, as a small group of us hope to map out some of the forests surviving WW2 features. I'm please to report that it was a very positive meeting and an encouraging first step.

Some written accounts say that the ammo dump was opened in 1942 by the US Army, but the site was already well established by this time with most of its infrastructure in place. In fact the British moved in during July 1940 and opened camps at Iron Gates, Postern Hill, Cadley Vicarage, Warren Farm and Tottenham House. The roads and woodland rides were also given hard durable surfaces capable of supporting the weight of fully laden 3-ton army lorries. The Americans took control in late 1942 and remained in charge until June/July 1945. The site then returned to British control and was used to store stocks of redundant Allied and enemy ordnance. The site eventually closed in 1949.

Hope the above is of interest and thanks again for your help.

Best wishes,

Roger.

TommyUSA
28-02-2014, 21:34
Hi Peter, I'm Roger Day author of Savernake at War and I've just come across your excellent site. I was very interested in the map you posted of Depot 0-675 (Savernake) which I've not seen before, and the photographs of ammunition stored in the forest. Some of these images are also new to me and I wondered if you could tell me where you fond them? Best regards, Roger.

Hello Roger! This is Tom Townsend from across the pond - remember a few years ago when you showed my wife Mary and I around Ramsbury? That was the highlight of our trip. Well, of my trip. Mary wanted to see London... ;)

Welcome to AIX!

Tom

PETERTHEEATER
28-02-2014, 22:10
Re Post 16

Thanks Roger. Information on the British army occupation of the forest is sparse but I guessed that they were in Savernake quite early in the war.

Peter

PETERTHEEATER
01-03-2014, 07:27
Savernake3000 - please check your PMs

ColinBa
01-03-2014, 10:42
Some written accounts say that the ammo dump was opened in 1942 by the US Army, but the site was already well established by this time with most of its infrastructure in place. In fact the British moved in during July 1940 and opened camps at Iron Gates, Postern Hill, Cadley Vicarage, Warren Farm and Tottenham House. The roads and woodland rides were also given hard durable surfaces capable of supporting the weight of fully laden 3-ton army lorries. The Americans took control in late 1942 and remained in charge until June/July 1945. The site then returned to British control and was used to store stocks of redundant Allied and enemy ordnance. The site eventually closed in 1949.
Roger,
Do you know when and if the British stored Chemical Weapons at Savernake? We know that US CW was stored at a number of places, the thread about Scout's Dyke may be of interest to you.