4 miles south-east of Blandford Forum, Spetisbury is a linear village along the A350 and the river Stour.
|Sergeant Walter John Strange||
Farmer Assisting Father
|01 Jun 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Maurice Arbon Tory||
Royal Artillery then recalled to Farm
|17 Aug 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private John Charles Parham Bugg||Unknown||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Reg Goddard||
General Farm Labourer
|01 Sep 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private A Little||31 Mar 1941||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Gilbert James Snook||
|24 Jul 1940||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Henry George Spicer||
Agricultural Tractor Driver
|14 Aug 1942||03 Dec 1944|
|Private Jim Strange||
Farmer with brother Sam
|01 Sep 1942||03 Dec 1944|
The OB is in Charlton Hill Coppice. It has largely collapsed and only a small section of corrugated iron remains in position in the middle of the bunker.
There are a few scattered earthenware drainage pipes as used for ventilation. Otherwise very little is left. Most of the OB has completely collapsed.
Please note that this OB is on private land with no public access. The landowners kindly provided access for these photographs to be taken.
A repeat visit in September 2021 found the remians in a very similar condition. A small section of corrugated iron remains intact. The roof of the the entrance (or escape) tunnel has collapsed but is L-shaped running to a likely shaft entrance site. At the other end, little remains, but with no evidence of a tunnel making a vertical shaft adjacent to the main chamber most the most likely thing.
It appears that the OB was built into one of two oblong pits running parallel to each other. This was a technique often used as it saved a good deal of digging by hand! The second pit provides a location for any deeper spoil without it looking out of place.Searching between the two pits revealed two runs of glazed ceramic pipes running from the OB into the second pit to provide ventilation. Though only the ends could be seen, one run remained patent throughout its length. These were laid 9 feet apart and aligned at 149 degrees, at right angles to the long axis of the OB. These runs were buried under loose chalk, presumably part of the excavation spoil.
The Patrol photo shows the men armed with revolvers in web holster as well as an early model Thompson sub-machine gun with the Cutts compensator fitted.
North Farm is still run by members of Walter Strange's family. If you are staying at The Stables, the Bed and Breakfast on the Farm, then do ask if it will be possible to walk up to see the Operation Base. In September 2021, CART provided a small display their for The International Guild of Battlefield Guides, some of whom stayed in The Stables and spoke highly of the breakfast!
Additional information and photos from John Pidgeon. Further wartime photos and details are due to be published in his forthcoming book on the Dorset Home Guard.