A RECENTLY rediscovered World War Two bunker has sparked a search for the relatives of those who would have used it.

Anyone who was related to a member of the Ferndown Auxiliary Unit is urged to come forward after the bunker was found at Poor Common earlier this month.

The unit, a group of specially-trained volunteers with the Home Guard, practised their drills at the Belle Vue bunker's secret operations base.

The bunker was rediscovered by the Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team. An excavation of the site has taken place but, 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.

Officials from Dorset Council say they would like 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

Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council portfolio holder for highways, travel and the environment, said, “The Belle Vue bunker is a significant historical find and we extend our thanks to Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team for bringing it 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, contact the council's coast and greenspace team on 0790 0137881.