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Archaeologists investigate secret wartime HQ of Churchill's British Resistance

Press release issued: 9 February 2011

The remains of the World War II headquarters of Winston Churchill’s secret resistance force are being surveyed by a team of archaeologists, including postgraduate researchers from the University of Bristol.

The team hopes to uncover a new underground operations base on the Coleshill estate on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire border, now owned by the National Trust.  The estate was the English headquarters of The Auxiliary Units, men and women of a secret British Resistance trained to hamper a successful invasion by the German army.

The survey is organised by the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team, set up by Tom Sykes to research, document and preserve the history of this guerrilla volunteer force.

John Winterburn, local landscape archaeologist and postgraduate research student at the University of Bristol said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to investigate a secret war-time landscape and great example of how Modern Conflict Archaeology can be used to improve our understanding of the recent past.”

The University will be involved in future archaeological investigations at the site and the findings will be published on the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team's website.

Other groups taking part in the survey include the Ridgeway Military and Aviation Research Group, Subterranea Britannica and the Great War Archaeology Group.

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