Denbies Covenanter Tank, Surrey - May/June 2017

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Brewtal

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It's not every day they dig up a WW2 tank next to your workplace.

This is not an explore, and if this isn't worthy of a report let me know and I will stick the pics up in the general section. I just thought I'd post them up as some of you may find it interesting, and you can see it whenever you want if you are in the area.

Back in May I had 3 very repetitive days where everyone who walked into brewery said "Oh did you know they are digging up a..." Yes I already know FFS!!! Roll on Sunday, H and I meet up with some mates for a drink and we take a wander up with the dog to see what the fuss is about. After grabbing a few pics the heavens opened so we scurried off to the pub again.

Days later I was leaving work and to my amazement they were moving the tank with the smallest crane that I have ever seen. Ah well, they are taking it away. Thank Christ I can finally stop having the same chat with everyone. Next day I am driving in at 6am and it is still there, and the turret has been placed on top. It is still there if you are ever in the area and fancy a look.

The Canadian Army, who buried this tank along with another, used the surrounding area for training. They used a fort based up at the top of the hill (demolished now) of what was once Denbies Farm before being bought and turned into a vineyard. They were based up at Headly Court, which now rehabilitates injured soldiers, and had a camp up at Dunley Hill - a small amount of which still stands today, Gromr123 did a report on it. The area is used for farm storage now and stinks of dung and silage (or it did the few times I have been) and a lot of the Nissen huts have been flattened. Sadly there is not a lot left now. They had a few rifle ranges near by too.

This Covenanter tank excavation was part of a new series commissioned by History Channel and was dug up by WW2 enthusiast Rick Wedlock. It is one of two tanks buried on site by the Canadian Army, the other being dug up in the 70's.

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(Images from Denbies website)

Some pics from after the excavation:

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And some early morning pics taken just after it was moved and the turret places on top:

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Thanks for looking!
 

rockfordstone

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i've always heard rumours about kit that was buried when the forces returned after wwII but never actually seen anything to prove it to be true.

there is an old RAF base around here that apparently has stuff buried, but i don't know if anyone has ever investigated the rumour.
 

clinka

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Amazing photographs, well done, you've captured them well. It would be interesting to heaw what happenms next. In term sof burying kit, rumour has it that somewhere in the far east, the RAF buried brand new spitfires or hurricanes and this hit the news several years ago, but never heard anymore. Once again great report.
 

krela

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Amazing photographs, well done, you've captured them well. It would be interesting to heaw what happenms next. In term sof burying kit, rumour has it that somewhere in the far east, the RAF buried brand new spitfires or hurricanes and this hit the news several years ago, but never heard anymore. Once again great report.

Is that the one where they buried the crates of brand new ones that hadn't even been put together yet? Didn't they do a Time Team special on that or am I getting confused?

I can't imagine this tank is economically restorable it looks a long way gone, but it's a great relic to see thanks Brewtal.
 

clinka

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I believe it was Krela, but do not recall hearing anything else.
 

smiler

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Yeah, I remember watching a programme years ago, the ones they found were screwed and some they couldn't find

Sorry I've got it wrong, the programme was about a crashed Spitfire. There are many stories of stored, hidden aircraft l from Burma to Australia
 
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Dirus_Strictus

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In the '50's, early '60's the price of scrap steel was at rock bottom, there were 1000's of tons of the stuff lying around all over the place and the value of the metal was less than the transport costs in many cases. So that which could not be profitably removed to the scrap furnaces of Sheffield was conveniently buried on site - this was mostly large lumps of damaged vehicles, aircraft etc. Production on armament contracts literally stopped over night, with firms involved in the mass production of say grenade pins and rings or grenade levers just dumping their last production lot onto their waste tips. In the early 60's I can remember walking over Hexthorpe Bridge in Doncaster, on my way to work, and seeing the sidings under the bridge packed with 16 ton mineral wagons full of brand new grenade bodies (the good old Mills Bomb), on their way to the scrap furnaces of Sheffield after being declared surplus from some vast MOD store. For many years you could find areas in Clumber Park Notts. that were covered in low corrugated iron shelters full of war time and civil defence stores. There was even a large tonnage of horse shoes - originating from 1914/18 - released from some stores site in the Midlands. Know your wartime factory or store site and you can still find interesting items, not all of it has disappeared under the post war rebuilding or expansion. One can still stumble upon one or a small group of the classic flat concrete roofed, single story, brick built Ministry Store houses; always originally situated near good rail or road access.In my teenage years the ones around Doncaster that were accessible seemed to be full of old field telephone equipment or boxes of bandages and tubes burn creams.
 

BikinGlynn

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Pretty amazing that, makes u wonder what else is still to be discovered!
 

Brewtal

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This is awesome! Is it still there now?

Yeah it is still there. Follow the main road into the vineyard, as you come to the car park you will see it over to the left on the edge of the road. I don't know how long it will stay there for. If they move it I will update this thread so people know.
 

Derelictspaces

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It always amazes me when things like this turn up. There was a post on Builders Talk Group on Facebook recently when a bunch of groundworkers dug up boxes of Mk7 anti tank mines the Home Guard had stashed at the height of WW2.
 

prettyvacant71

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Most def worthy of a report! Its great when history is finally revealed and you're lucky to have caught the moment!

Like your greyhound too:emmersed:
 

Kilted Mac

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It's not every day they dig up a WW2 tank next to your workplace.

This is not an explore, and if this isn't worthy of a report let me know and I will stick the pics up in the general section. I just thought I'd post them up as some of you may find it interesting, and you can see it whenever you want if you are in the area.

Back in May I had 3 very repetitive days where everyone who walked into brewery said "Oh did you know they are digging up a..." Yes I already know FFS!!! Roll on Sunday, H and I meet up with some mates for a drink and we take a wander up with the dog to see what the fuss is about. After grabbing a few pics the heavens opened so we scurried off to the pub again.

Days later I was leaving work and to my amazement they were moving the tank with the smallest crane that I have ever seen. Ah well, they are taking it away. Thank Christ I can finally stop having the same chat with everyone. Next day I am driving in at 6am and it is still there, and the turret has been placed on top. It is still there if you are ever in the area and fancy a look.

The Canadian Army, who buried this tank along with another, used the surrounding area for training. They used a fort based up at the top of the hill (demolished now) of what was once Denbies Farm before being bought and turned into a vineyard. They were based up at Headly Court, which now rehabilitates injured soldiers, and had a camp up at Dunley Hill - a small amount of which still stands today, Gromr123 did a report on it. The area is used for farm storage now and stinks of dung and silage (or it did the few times I have been) and a lot of the Nissen huts have been flattened. Sadly there is not a lot left now. They had a few rifle ranges near by too.

This Covenanter tank excavation was part of a new series commissioned by History Channel and was dug up by WW2 enthusiast Rick Wedlock. It is one of two tanks buried on site by the Canadian Army, the other being dug up in the 70's.

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(Images from Denbies website)

Some pics from after the excavation:

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And some early morning pics taken just after it was moved and the turret places on top:

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Thanks for looking!
Great pics, the unmounted tracks look like the skeleton of some long gone dinosaur which I suppose this old tank is !
 
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