UNITED KINGDOM: A railway siding in Wiltshire where ammunition was transferred by tunnel to an underground storage facility.

Abandoned UK Military History

By Rebecca Drew

EERIE images have revealed the most decayed remnants of once proud British WW2 military sites that have now been left deserted.

A hangar at the former RAF Llandow in South Wales.
A hangar at the former RAF Llandow in South Wales.

The series of shots show the bare steel infrastructure of the Bushfield army training camp near Winchester which was in operation during World War Two and was used to train Royal Green Jackets recruits in the sixties. Another image shows a pillbox bunker alongside a canal in Berkshire.

Bushfield army camp, Winchester.
Bushfield army camp, Winchester.
Pillbox, Garston Lock, Kennett and Avon canal, Berkshire.
Pillbox, Garston Lock, Kennett and Avon canal, Berkshire.
 

Other pictures show a crumbling radar tower that was in operation between 1941 and 1943 to monitor shipping near a Tilbury on Thames minefield and the abandoned Women’s Auxiliary Airforce section of RAF Stormy Down, Wales which shows a picket post and empty dark air raid shelter.

Radar Tower, Thames near Tilbury.
Radar Tower, Thames near Tilbury.
An air raid shelter, RAF Stormy Down, Wales.
An air raid shelter, RAF Stormy Down, Wales.

The spectacular images were taken by an urban explorer who wished to remain anonymous. To take the pictures, they used a Nikon D3100 camera.

Gun Battery, Essex.
Gun Battery, Essex.

“I was working in part of the ex-Soviet Union and there was a wealth of abandoned and derelict industrial sites to explore,” he said.

“So I gave it a go and found that this is a style of photography that I feel very comfortable with.

“Carrying on with urbex photography when on leave in the UK, I found that there were many ex-military sites and access was usually a lot easier than the industrial sites.

RAF Rivenhall, Essex.
RAF Rivenhall, Essex.

“Having an interest in aviation, I sought out old World War Two RAF airfields and came across other promising abandoned military installations as well.

“The history in these images invokes something that is hard to put into words like sadness or melancholy maybe.”

Runway at RAF Wisley, Surrey now surrounded by cornfields.
Runway at RAF Wisley, Surrey now surrounded by cornfields.

The urban explorer who took the photos says that the key to a successful explore is to research the locations online before going, making sure that he has worked out how to access the site.

“Usually I research information about the site and have a look at Google maps to see what is there and how to obtain access,” he said.

“As far as photography goes, that’s more difficult. It’s about seeing what could make a good composition and which angles and lighting will give a pleasing image.

Officers' Mess building at RAF Yatesbury, Wiltshire.
Officers’ Mess building at RAF Yatesbury, Wiltshire.

“Many people like these images and comment on the atmospheric quality of some of them.

“Some people have spoken of when they served at these locations in the military or when they last visited the sites.”

A railway siding in Wiltshire where ammunition was transferred by tunnel to an underground storage facility.
A railway siding in Wiltshire where ammunition was transferred by tunnel to an underground storage facility.

Click to licence images.

 

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