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eddy8men

buried and abandoned tanks

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right then fella's i reckon it's about time we put our heads together and recorded the myths, rumours, exagerations and half truths that surround the buried tank legends we often hear about but while doing this we also might just turn up a tank or two as i'd bet my life there's still plenty to be had out there !

 

i'll start us off with the sherman under the postal sorting office

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?22491-sherman-still-buried-under-leeds-post-office

 

i've also heard a tale of a churchill in sheffield buried under a coal or a slag heap but i have no articles to offer up as evidence.

 

another one is the rumour of a tank with a small turret on stainburn moor in yorkshire, this is where the mk2 churchill that went to beverly was found and later recovered by bob grundy and co. whilst the recovery was on a couple of kids came up to the fellas' and asked if they were taking the other tank, this on it's own would not be worth investigating but one of the reme ta officers said he almost recovered the wrong tank. i went to stainburn 2 months with some poor buggars from the forum that i'd coerced into coming along to have a look around the forest but the snow lay heavily on the ground so the likelihood of finding anything was remote, although we did find a safe that somone had hacked into for it's contents !!!

if you fancy a look around for it start at the main car park to the NE of the forest as this is most likely area. the forest is in bad shape and looks to be in the process of being felled so things might get easier if you wait a while but then again if you wait too long some other buggar might beat you to it .

 

eddy

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The Churchill burial was I think at the Thornecliffe factory -where the disappearing Mk7 was, it was mentioned in a site on Shefield industrial heritage which I'm sure some of the Yorkshire-men on site will be able to confirm.

 

There is of course the Churchills re-bried at Battlesbury Bowl

 

Bob Grundy and the TAG recovered the Otterburn Mk3 not the Stainburn Mk2. I was going to have a wander around Stainburn with Eddy and the others but the North east was the first area to get 2 foot of snow that weekend.

 

Steve

Edited by steveo578

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there are stories of a buried sherman about 3 miles from where I live which apparently sunk into the mud and was eventually covered over to make way for parking spaces

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for those that don't know about the disappearing mk7 steve is referring too. it was left as a gate guardian on an industrial estate that was built on the old churchill factory site and was the property of the family that owned the churchill factory but once the business and assets were sold the churchill was not included so in effect once the company stopped trading it had no owner, that is until some rum buggar turned up with a crane and a lowloader one night and had it away, the funny thing was i had the same idea but was going to replace it with a cosmetically restored range wreck so i was gutted to hear he'd beaten me to it, anyway all's fair in love and tank restoration :D

steve can you let us know about the battlesbury bowl churchills, is that where the 3.7" churchills came from ?

i didn't know bob recovered the otterburn churchill he was a busy fella back then and no mistake however bob did definately recover the stainburn churchill as it was him and colin that told me about it, there was an article about the recovery in after the battle no.47 i think.(no wonder it bogged down as the ground is still bloody awful now 70 years later).

 

eddy

Edited by eddy8men

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ford 369, thanks for the reply but can you be a little bit more specific as we should use this thread as a tool to find and save whatever we can of these old war horses, thanks mate.

 

below is the pic that first got me started 12 months ago on my quest for ww2 armour. it's a jagdpanzer 4 under a road bridge in gladys poland, apparently it was destroyed and left by the side of the road and eventually bulldozed into the stream to make the foundations of the road bridge you can see and it's still there today but it's definately in peices as it's upside down and you would be able to see the glacis plate and sprockets and tracks if it was complete but i've no doubt the rest of it is all in there aswell

jagd panzer.jpg

jp.jpg

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eddy8men

steve can you let us know about the battlesbury bowl churchills, is that where the 3.7" churchills came from ?

 

It's in Wheels and Tracks No.15 and also After the Battle Magazine the 3inch Gun Carrier SPG came from a range in Kent near Arpinge. shame you weren't into tanks then probably more chance of seeing even a cosmetically restored 3inch gun carrier than the present circumstances.

 

I was under the impression that the Stainburn tank was recovered by a group from the east coast -with scottish links -but like everything else things are often very plastic- groups form reform but often the same people- i would have thought if Bob was deeply involved the Mk2 wouldn't have that lump of pipe sticking out the front.

 

It might be an idea to PM exact details of unsecured wrecks otherwise it will only encourage scrap collectors -people who eyes are larger than there ability to restore rather than real restorers.

 

Steve

Edited by steveo578
addition

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According to an old chap in warmley bristol there are reputedly 2 shermans and trailers buried under the ex brains meat factory high level car park they were parked there and then just covered over when the carpark was built he also said of a drift mine in the vicinity of siston common that had a lot of vehicles pushed in and then the entrance was buldozed over how true it is i do not know but there was a vehicle repair shop on the old lex tillotson site in kingswood and reputedly when they were building the new houses there they hit some armour with a digger but covered it up as they didnt want to have to stop building. also tennis court road was a military camp im ww2 so anything is possible.

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Should the title of the thread be changed to Raiders of the Lost Tanks? or

 

Eddy8men and the Last Crusade® Tank?

 

Tee Hee

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The story about buried vehicles in the Bristol area is interesting. When I went down to Southampton to collect the Clarkair one of the dockers was interestted in it and said

 

"When the americans pulled out of the Bristol area they drove alot of vehicles full of kit into a disused quarry and buried them"

 

He did tell me exactly where but I have forgotten. I do however have his hone number somewhere. This would have been around the end of '44

 

Another story I personally heard from an old boy fifteen years ago was that at the end of the war all the takes form Sutton Hoo tank training range were driven to some crag pits and buried with tons of other kit. This can never be proven as just after the war the area was made into an RSPB reserve. A good way to cover up!!!

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I heard that there are a load of "still in their crates" jeeps buried at the old army camp in Taunton Devon.

 

Thats all I've ever heard about (apart from the king tiger parked at the bottom of my garden) :)

 

Paul

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There is also supposed to be the Renault FT buried in The Channel Islands. That project has gone quiet at the moment as a lot of persuasion has to be done to allow a proper survey of the site.

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there are of course the feldom wrecks, which has both buried and abandoned tanks. for those that aren't aware feldom is a disused infantry anti-tank range in yorkshire and has several wrecks modern and ww2, there's 3 churchill hulls on the surface and one mk 7 buried. rob nixon recovered a sherman from there and also uncovered the churchill, there's a post on the forum if you type in feldom you'll see rob's pics and here's a few of my own

009.jpg

012.jpg

010.jpg

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Maybe 15 years ago I was told by a chap, who I will not name, that there was a buried tank somewhere at Woodcock Hill Industrial Estate. The tank was apparently pushed over a edge

into some clay diggings. Google earthing the location WD3 1PQ does not show a area that this

could be it. The tank was a Cromwell or Comet

Anyone know more ?

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bob i know parts for the cromwell are hard to come by but isn't there an easier way of getting hold of them :-D

 

eddy

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eddy8men

....but isn't there an easier way of getting hold of them :-D

 

Well it is RICKmansworth:cool2: might be an omen:-D

 

Steve

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In the past couple of years a Sherman DD was uncovered on Salisbury plain near Imber village when a training trench system was being dug, this was reported in the local paper, but where did it go? Bovington maybe? There is a rumour that a lot of vehicles were buried near Imber after the war, and if you look on Google earth you will find that a large section of the valley has been filled in. There is absolutely no chance of excavating these as they are in an active training area with a major road junction over it.

About 5 years ago I was visiting my folks in North Yorkshire and there was a bit in the local paper that someone had been given permission to dig up a tank on Fylingdales moor, near the early warning station. I know that area is rather boggy, did this tank get recovered?

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Re 'Jeeps in crates' I was under the impression that there were 2 main vehicle assembly parks in England in WW2, Ashchurhc & Tidworth, so I find it rather strange that Jeeps, Harleys etc. were delivered to units still in crates to be assembled and readied for use. I have also heard about the Jeeps buried in Taunton, but that was the one in Somerset. I do know that there is 2 Jeeps in a lake in Westbury where I live as they have been located by Bath sub aqua club. There are 2 stories as to how they ended up in the lake, one is that the US troops staioned in Westbury drove them in when returning from the pub, the other is that they were abandoned next to the lake and local youths pushed them in.

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In the past couple of years a Sherman DD was uncovered on Salisbury plain near Imber village when a training trench system was being dug, this was reported in the local paper, but where did it go? Bovington maybe? There is a rumour that a lot of vehicles were buried near Imber after the war, and if you look on Google earth you will find that a large section of the valley has been filled in. There is absolutely no chance of excavating these as they are in an active training area with a major road junction over it.

About 5 years ago I was visiting my folks in North Yorkshire and there was a bit in the local paper that someone had been given permission to dig up a tank on Fylingdales moor, near the early warning station. I know that area is rather boggy, did this tank get recovered?

 

Are you sure a Sherman DD? a Sherman BARV was recovered from Salisbury two years ago and now sits in Bovington rusting away. Recovered for the museum to use as colateral, not for restoration.

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johnwardle

In the past couple of years a Sherman DD was uncovered on Salisbury plain near Imber village when a training trench system was being dug, this was reported in the local paper, but where did it go? Bovington maybe?

 

One of the tanks found at Battlesbury Bowl was a turretless Sherman DD -it has to be remembered that DD survived into the 1950s -some even received Post War registration. There was another Sherman DD -a M4A1 on SPTA as a none buried target. The Battlesbury burial probably took place in the mid to late 1950s at least one Churchill AVRE was numbered 45ZR00.

 

About 5 years ago I was visiting my folks in North Yorkshire and there was a bit in the local paper that someone had been given permission to dig up a tank on Fylingdales moor, near the early warning station. I know that area is rather boggy, did this tank get recovered?

 

 

I think the theory of relativity is having an effect here- if it is the same tank it was proposed as far back as 1998-99 by North of england military heritage -or a similarly named probably erstwhile group, the story was that they believed they had found the site of a tank sinking - traces of oil-petrol or fuel oil was leaking to the surface. Whether there was a tank in there was debateable -it could have been recovered shortly after bogging down and the leaking oil could be due to the loss of the long range fuel tank off the rear hull -common on Covenanters and Churchill but also fitted to Valentines on the track guard, anyway as far as I am aware English Heritage, the SSSI council and of course the MOD (very sensitive area) were none too accomodating -of course they may have relented- but I doubt it.

 

There was a long standing story (going back to the 1990s) of various attempts to recover a Valentine in Fife -but I've not heard anything further.

 

Another Story is of a Covenantor sunk at the old Midhope ranges -west of Sheffield, but difficult to researcxh as the owners of the site (no names no packdrill) are very pro-active in keeping people off the site -possibly more to do with enviromental protesters though. the story goes that it was a Polish vehicle but no-one has found mention in any of the Polish War Diaries -although I would imagine the original Polish War diary is very different than that sent to the WD -apart from that the Poles were vere street smart -I hardly think they would have reported the loss of a Cov. esp. as such a loss should have been rewarded with a 48hour leave pass:-D

 

Steve

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I am sure the photo in the paper showed a freshly dug up DD not a BARV, I have been searching for the article but can't find it.

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diver99

Are you sure a Sherman DD? a Sherman BARV was recovered from Salisbury two years ago...

 

 

I doubt he means the BARV that is quite well known and was never buried and I think was an ex Pounds vehicle. I cant understand why it should be held "for collateral" of any of the recent recoverys it is probably easiest to restore and very desirable.

 

Steve

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I am sure the photo in the paper showed a freshly dug up DD not a BARV, I have been searching for the article but can't find it.

 

It was a DD together with a couple of Churchills and a Cromwell, all turretless. It was hardly a couple of years ago though, more like late 1980s or early 1990s.

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I doubt he means the BARV that is quite well known and was never buried and I think was an ex Pounds vehicle. I cant understand why it should be held "for collateral" of any of the recent recoverys it is probably easiest to restore and very desirable.

 

Steve

 

The Tank Museum are in no position to restore vehicles from that condition.

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Hello Adrian, This recent DD was definately uncovered in the past couple of years, at one of our MVT area meetings one of the members, who lives near Warminster brought in the previous weeks local paper with the article in it. The West Wilts area of the MVT has only been running for 4 years. The local paper was the Warminster Journal, which does not have archives on line

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