The bunker discovered near Selkirk by British Resistance Archive team, leadered by David Blair during last spring (April-May 2015) was built around 1941 for anti-Nazi resistance fighters. This site is an important finding because it is part of a large network of up to 500 hidden underground bases around the UK, a lot of them yet uncovered, The Scotsman reports. This underground bunkers network was built in utmost secrecy on the orders of Winston Churchill during WW2 and would be where the British resistance would wage guerrilla warfare against a Nazi occupation, BBC reports.
The bunker is well preserved, nevertheless shows visible damage to the main ventilation shaft and evidence of a small fire in the entrance tunnel. Its construction is stunning, bricks and corrugated sheeting mainly were used for it. Inside is still possible to see bunk bed frames, a water tank and debris from various former structures. This "secret bunker" shows a broad variety of graffiti scrawled, this fact implies that surely the site had already been discovered by the Local Vandals before.
The secret of this bunkers network was so well saved, that even residents of the nearby town wouldn't have known of its existence during the conflict. Volunteers recruited to staff the bunkers were often the most able-bodied members of the Home Guard. The Auxiliary Units were an extremely secretive force of more highly trained volunteer resistance troops that would function as guerrilla units if the UK was invaded. Around 3,500 such men were trained on weekend courses at Coleshill House near Highworth, Wiltshire, in the arts of guerrilla warfare including assassination, unarmed combat, demolition and sabotage.
Operational Patrols consisted of between four and eight men. They possessed excellent local knowledge and were able to live off the land. Each Patrol was a self-contained cell, expected to be self-sufficient and operationally autonomous in the case of invasion, generally operating within a 15-mile radius. They were provided with a concealed underground Operational Base (OB), usually built by the Royal Engineers in a local woodland, with a camouflaged entrance and emergency escape tunnel. It is thought that 400 to 500 such OBs were constructed.
Some Patrols had an additional concealed Observation Post and/or underground ammunition store. Patrols were provided with a selection of the latest weapons including a silenced pistol or Sten gun and Fairbairn-Sykes "commando" knives, quantities of plastic explosive, incendiary devices, and food to last for two weeks. Members anticipated being shot if they were captured, and were expected to shoot themselves first rather than be taken alive.
The Home Guard, initially "Local Defence Volunteers" or LDV, was a defence organisation of the British Army during the Second World War. Operational from 1940 until 1944, the Home Guard – comprising 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, usually owing to age, hence the nickname "Dad's Army" – acted as a secondary defence force, in case of invasion by the forces of Nazi Germany and their allies.
British Resistance Archive team is part of the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART), who provide an internal network for dedicated researchers who focus on the British Resistance.