Royal Observer Corps Monitoring Posts


During the Great War raids by Zeppelin and Gotha Bombers caused public distress and surprise as there was no existing warning system.

The army set up a series of observer posts which were later taken over by the police where the skies were watched for incoming German aircraft and warnings given to British fighter planes and the public.

In 1925 the Royal Observer Corps was formed to take over this duty so that by the start of the second world war a series of observation posts on the coast  had been established from Yorkshire to Dorset.

There was no style to these posts as they were mostly constructed by the men who manned them although sandbags for defence against strafing and immediate access to a telephone line  seem to have been the only norms.

Once the war was over most of these structures were demolished or returned to their original use so that none are visible in  modern times.

Once the cold war started with Russia the ROC came back into use with the construction of a series of concrete bunkers for use during a possible nuclear war.

These posts were sited 9 feet under the ground with a hatchway from the surface leading down to a single room with food and bedding capable of housing 2 to 4 men.

The depth of soil and the thick concrete walls were regarded as likely to withstand a nuclear attack unless the site was close to the centre of the blast.

Equipment would allow the men to monitor blast waves and fallout and relay the details to control posts.

The thawing of the cold war and the breakdown of the iron curtain meant that the posts were no longer used and now most have been abandoned.

Monitoring posts in the Dengie Hundred

These posts are still to be found at East Ends Road, Bradwell on Sea , Latchingdon Road, Latchingdon and Goldsands Road, Southminster.

These sites are privately owned and can be dangerous - Do not visit without approval of the owner

Click here to see pictures of the Bradwell on Sea Site

Click here to see pictures of the Latchingdon Site

Click here to see pictures of the Southminster site