The Channel Islands Occupation Society wants to fit a concrete and fibre glass replica observation turret at Resistance Nest Millbrook, an anti-tank casement bunker in St Aubin’s Bay. The society says the bunker is like a ‘time capsule’, as it is largely intact, with internal features such as wood panelling, telephone system and electric lighting which is still in working condition.
The majority of the Island’s Occupation structures, including the Jersey War Tunnels, were stripped of fixtures and fittings after the Liberation.
In the application proposal document, the society says: ‘The reinstatement of the turret will bring a better visitor understanding of how the Germans defended St Aubin’s Bay. It will also be the final part of a restoration programme to replace the few parts which were removed post-war from the near “time-capsule” bunker.
‘This turret will also be the only example of its type in the Channel Islands on display in its original position.’
The bunker is a Grade 1 listed historic structure situated on the shoreline opposite the junction of Rue de Galet and Victoria Avenue. It was built on the site of an old beach slipway, the remains of which were recently exposed when sand levels dropped.
The society says the bunker escaped being stripped for scrap metal as it was landscaped and grassed over in 1946. However, the British Army removed the steel observation turret.
If approval is forthcoming, society members will make the turret.
They say: ‘It will be constructed from reinforced concrete with an outer shell made of GRP fibreglass which has been cast directly from an identical turret in Guernsey. The use of a GRP outer shell has been chosen, as the cost of casting the replacement in steel would be hugely prohibitive.’
The turret protruded from the top of the bunker. A soldier would have sat inside it and there were five slits to give a panoramic view of the bay. There was also a small armoured periscope to be used for long-range observations.
The bunker has been in the care of the CI Occupation Society since 1984 and volunteers open it to the public over four weekends each year.