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World War II Tunnels Reopened in Dover

Monday, July 20, 2015

England Dover tunnelsDOVER, ENGLAND—After two years of excavations conducted by volunteers, the Fan Bay Deep Shelter, constructed in just 100 days by order of Winston Churchill, has been opened to visitors. Consisting of tunnels under the White Cliffs of Dover, the bombproof shelter served as a hospital, store, and housing for officers and soldiers from the Royal Artillery. The tunnels were filled with more than 100 tons of rubble and soil in the 1970s, until they were rediscovered in 2012. The volunteers removed the debris by hand to reveal wartime graffiti, wire twisted by hand into hooks, ammunition, and a needle and thread tucked into a tunnel wall. The site also has two sound mirrors, which gave an early warning of approaching enemy aircraft during World War I. “With no public access for over 40 years, the tunnels remain much as they were when they were abandoned. We’ve preserved both the natural decay and authentic atmosphere of the space,” Jon Barker, visitor experience manager at the White Cliffs, said in a National Trust press release. To read more about how archaeologists are adding to the history of the Second World War, go to "Archaeology of World War II."

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