Going underground... Fife's other secret bunkers

The Nazis have invaded, the area is under occupation, and the resistance is now fighting a secret battle for freedom under cover of night.

Saturday, 21st January 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 1:10 pm
Visiting their former Operational Base From right to left; Alex Crowe who was a Lieutenant and Assistant Group Commander for Group Number 2. Bob Graham and Sgt Bob Neilson

While it may sound like the plot of Amazon Prime’s hit series Man in the High Castle, it is in fact a genuine scenario the UK feared in 1940 – and so certain was Churchill that invasion was imminent, a number of secret bunkers were built to house the resistance.

While almost no-one at the time knew they existed, even fewer people nowadays know that some of these super-secret bunkers are still exist – like the one near Craigtoun Park. It is one of several in the east and north east Fife area.

The army Auxiliary Units, as they were known, would have been housed in the underground Operational Bases.

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Now one researcher is appealing for the public to come forward with information on the bunker or the unit of local men assigned to it.

David Blair, of St Andrews, has been researching bunkers like this in Scotland for 20 years with www.staybehinds.com. He said: “These guys were never going to be the front line in stopping the Germans, but they were the last ditch defence. Many countries around Europe had organised resistance under Nazi occupation. And with the threat of Operation Sea Lion, Hitler’s plan to invade the UK, many people believed that it was just a matter of time.

“Each bunker was known as an Operational Base, housing seven or eight men each. Their aim was to cause havoc; blow up tankers or rail lines.

“It’s likely they would have been there to attack Leuchars, if it was occupied.

“These guys had a life expectancy of just about 2 weeks. The bunkers would be built in complete secrecy.

“But this one’s stood the test of time, though there is some damage. Some people who have found it have maybe been in exploring it.

“I think people need to respect them. Some have been trashed, which is a shame.

“Researching these bunkers is very much a labour of love. I’m always on the lookout for more information.

“If anyone in Fife has any information about these auxiliary units or operational bases, then it’d be great if they could get in touch.”

Meanwhile film-maker Donald Suttie is planning a short film about the St Andrews bunker

“We’re planning to make a short YouTube documentary on the bunker, giving a bit of background on it, as it’s so unique. It’s been forgotten about and it’s ultra-rare.

“Of course we didn’t want to give away the exact location so it isn’t exploited.

“It’s a shame, as many of them were destroyed or caved in so kids wouldn’t end up getting hurt in them.”

Anyone with information can email David Blair at [email protected]