Pre D Day Training Area

Demolition Practice Site, Swinley Forest, Berkshire. NGR SU882638

This is an incredible find which is not on the Defence of Britain Database or anywhere else I have looked.

I had a conversation in November 2001 with a Forest Ranger in Swinley Forest when I was looking for some reported bunkers, he told me of a ‘wall’ with RSJ’s in it which was deep in the woods, an old chap had told him previously it had been used for pre D-Day practice.

I located the area deep in the forestry at grid reference SU882638, the site appears very similar to Hankley Common with a large concrete wall, Germanic looking Dragons Teeth and a double row of vertical steel rails stretching into the woodland.

The wall is very steep and measures approximately 7 ft tall, below runs a 300ft plus anti-tank ditch on top of which are the RSJ’s.

About 30/35 ft from the ditch is a line of 17 angled concrete tank traps, which are 4ft length and are 4 sided, 16ft behind them is a double line of 2ft pimples some 49 in total, many of these have dates on top which include the 13th Apr 43, 15th Apr 43 and 17th Apr43 all are spaced 3ft apart between rows.

Behind these are five disturbed and upturned and upturned pimples, there is also a 10 ft large RSJ laying in the ditch, close by i found the remains of a rusting inert Bee Hive demolition charge.

I spent quite a while recording the find and have sketched a plan giving a better idea of the sites layout.

Tim Denton 2001

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