On 11th May 2011 Eddie Cox, an ex Coleshill resident, took CART members Tom and Bill to the exact location of the firing range believed to have been used by the Auxiliers who trained at Coleshill. He had not been back to the spot for over 60 years but was certain he was in the right place.
Over the weekend more than 30 people gave up their time to help survey an area of woodland within the Coleshill estate and they were not disappointed by what they found.
Bases of Nissen huts were uncovered and some were much larger than expected. There were many small finds like fired cartridges as well as personal items like boot polish and even a cap from a toothpaste tube.
An unexpected find was a 2 inch mortar round which turned out to be live resulting in a bomb disposal team being called in to remove it.
CART member Peter Antill also found a bayonet still in it’s leather scabbard. (See Image)
All the findings of the weekend will now be painstakingly documented and a full report will be written up and presented to the National Trust in the near future.
You can stay in touch with this project by adding your name to the list here
CART would like to thank all participants and the National Trust for allowing this event to take place.
In less than 23 hours members from CART, The Ridgeway Military and Aviation Research Group, Subterranea Britannica, Great War Archaeology Group and the University of Bristol will start work surveying parts of the Coleshill estate.
The grounds are normally closed to the public and site owners, the National Trust, have granted special permission for this work after approving a detailed proposal.
Each day approx 30 people will take part in sweeping the woodland in the hope of finding small finds and other items belonging to Churchill’s secret army.
You will be able to see live images taken over the weekend and and more info on this page
CART instigated a proposal to carry out a non invasive survey in the grounds of Coleshill with the aim of searching for more Operational Bases and any other Auxiliary related finds. The weekend for the work to take part is January 22nd and 23rd 2011.
This will be a joint project between staff and students at Bristol University, members of Subterranea Britannica, The Ridgeway Military and Aviation Research Group (RMARG), members of the public and CART.
It will be project managed by experienced archaeologist Neil Faulkner. You can read more about it here.
Anyone who would be keen to participate in these two days should contact CART asap.