Jordan Heights and the 2nd World War
Many of the old houses in Reigate Hill and the site, were requisitioned by the army during the second world war. A pigeon loft and a couple of Nisson huts were constructed, together with a generator hut and two underground dugouts. The pigeons were taken on raids into enemy territory such as The Dieppe Raid and then flew home with news of the incursion. The property called Underbeeches, which is next to the camp site, was commandeered during the war for Montgomery’s accommodation.
In side the 2nd World War bunker at the Grand Opening of Jordan Heights
We now have it cleared and a display of the histroy of the site during the second World War is on display
A view from the bunker in the snow
JORDAN HEIGHTS THE 2nd WORLD
The area by the Yew Tree pub and the Camp site was the secret headquarters of the South Eastern Command, headed by General Montgomery. Operations including the D-Day landings were planned there.
A secret bunker was mined inside the chalk quarry behind the Yew Tree pub for twenty four hour radio transmitting, with teleprinters, offices and cipher rooms. It contained 3,000 feet of tunnels and was designed to be gas and shell-proof. Big Iron doors were built so whole premises could be sealed off while ventilation shafts.
The tunnels were dug by Welsh miners and the Royal Engineers. The entrances were dynamited in the late nineteen sixties and are currently sealed.
The old steps which went to a bunker thats now filled in.
The property called Underbeeches, which is next to the quarry, and the Camp site was commandeered during the war for Montgomery’s accommodation.
A close up of the bunker
Another large property, Broadleas, once owned by the Colman family, complete with 9 bedrooms, excellent views south and an outdoor swimming pool, was where Sir Winston Churchill wrote some of his speeches.
The old steps
The cottages around number 117 Reigate Hill were adapted to defence posts in case of an invasion. Bricks were removed and replaced with metal flaps so soldiers would be able to shoot invaders from inside the house. If you have ever seen Dad’s Army and seen Jone's van with the flaps and the guns coming out this was how it worked. You can still see them today.
When we removed the old concreate base from the guides toilets we found some very large concrete blocks from the war and we also found the communications cable.You can also see in the background one of the concrete post again from the war.
Found preserved in the concrete base of the toilets.
The Bunker seen from the Camp fire circle
Inside the bunker when the Guides used it as a store room
Inside the bunker before it was cleared out.
The top of the underground bunker.
For more information on Reigate in the war www.reigatehistory.co.uk/churchill.htm