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Strode College archaeologist discovers WWII bunker in North Devon

Archaeologist David Etheridge, who is the programme manager for the Foundation Degree (FdA) in History, Heritage and Archaeology at Strode College recently discovered an unrecorded bunker in North Devon from WWII.

He was sitting on the beach on holiday eating fish and chips, when he noticed a concrete structure at the foot of the cliffs. He set off to explore and realised it was part of a ruined bunker guarding the beach.

“I knew Saunton Sands was used by the US military in preparation for D-Day, and instantly suspected it was part of their training ground. I wanted to know more, so when I got back, I looked it up, but to my surprise found nothing, so I contacted the local archaeologists,” said David (pictured) on his exciting discovery.

Devon County Council confirmed the site will be added to their Historic Environment Record, along with David’s photographs: “If I hadn’t spotted this, in a few years it would have fallen into the sea and no-one would have been any the wiser, I’m very pleased I found it,” said David. “The Normandy landings continue to be an important part of our national consciousness, and this small structure played a significant role in ensuring D-Day was a success.”

David is the Programme Manager for Strode College’s History, Heritage & Archaeology Foundation Degree. This university level course delivers the relevant practical knowledge, skills and critical understanding of history, heritage, and archaeology essential for those seeking careers in the sector.

Strode is still taking applications for this September, anyone with an interest in the past, particularly the history, heritage and archaeology of the ‘Wessex’ region should visit the College’s website at

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