‘Rare’ Second World War air raid shelter discovered in Greenwich – South London News

PCA project manager Jon Webster, who specialises in conflict archaeology, said: “It is often forgotten, and with Remembrance Day just around the corner, worth remembering, that during war those at home could often end up on a battlefield as well.

“It’s a sobering reminder that conflict has touched and shaped all our lives. Each one of us has relatives who lived through this defining pinch point of history, and regardless of what they did or how old they were this was their reality.

“It’s a discovery that helps remind us how lucky we are and the sacrifices those only one or two generations from us made.

“The construction of this bunker with two airshafts and entrances is a demonstration of lessons hard won during the Great War and is almost identical to many I have seen on the Western Front.

“It’s a reminder that during the Second World War nowhere was truly safe and that everyone, young or old, was forced to endure.

concrete bunkerTwo air shafts that likely would have been two entrances (Picture: PCA)

Mr Webster said it was clear that this bunker was the result of concerted effort and it was not the typical “Anderson” type that families in South London put in their gardens.

“Street communal shelters” began to appear from March 1940 and Mr Webster believes the design of this one was heavily influenced by the lessons learnt during First World War.

He added: “You can clearly see two air shafts. It is likely that there would have been two entrances also so that there was always a way to escape if one entrance was blocked by falling debris.

“Many of these shelters had large metal doors and often paraffin or electric heating. Examples can still be seen and are open to the public around the country.

“It’s a sobering reminder that everyone, regardless of age, was forced to endure during these dark days, and you can’t help but ask yourself “How would I have coped?”

Pictured top: Construction workers digging up the air raid shelter (Picture: PCA)


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