Dorset Council is looking for the relatives of the WWII Ferndown Auxiliary Unit. This group of specially-trained volunteers were members of the Home Guard and practised their drills at their secret Operations Base at the Belle Vue Bunker on Poor Common in Ferndown.
The bunker was recently rediscovered by the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team and an excavation of the site took place earlier this year. Sadly, due to its current state, it is not possible to rebuild and restore the bunker to its original condition. Most of the materials excavated have been replaced but a section of the bunker has been left exposed so visitors can see a small part of what lies beneath the ground.
Dorset Council says it wants to hear from relatives of any of the men from the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit and invite them to an official opening ceremony which will also be attended by representatives from the Royal British Legion and other local organisations and historians.
The names of the men in the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit were:
Sargent John Geoffrey Tice – local garage owner
Corporal Alfred Cecil Talbot – carpenter
Private Eric Alfred May – sales rep and auxiliary fire service officer
Private William Harry Feltham – baker
Private Percy Lloyd Blic – architect’s assistant
Private Douglas Gabe – engineer and local Scout leader
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘The Belle Vue Bunker is a significant historical find and we extend our thanks to Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team for bringing the bunker to our attention. It is also very important for us to remember the vital role the Home Guard played during World War II.’
If you are related to any of the men from the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit, please contact the Coast and Greenspace Team on 0790 0137881.