The end of the busy summer season means that the commencement of this year’s ‘winter work’ in the form of restoration and maintenance can be undertaken by the CIOS bunker teams.
Things have certainly been busy for Malcolm Amy and his small team of dedicated volunteers at Stp. Corbiere, who have been working most Friday evenings since late September with a joint focus on the 10.5cm Jaegerstand Type casemate ‘K2’ (K=Kanone) and the Early Type 633 M19 fortress mortar bunker (linked by a connecting tunnel to a neighbouring Type 634 Sechsschartentürm).
In the M19 bunker, which is unique to Jersey, work has focused on the continued reconstruction and completion of a replica M19 mortar including its protective turret to recreate what this complex weapon would have looked like when it was operational. Several new displays are also being added to explain the function of this rare weapon. Keep an eye out for the stack of fire wood stored under the lower platform (as recalled by the bunker’s former commander) when the bunker is open next summer.
The original 10.5cm K331(f) gun mounted in ‘K2’ has also been de-rusted and is currently being repainted. It is hoped to have the traverse fully reinstated so visitors will be able to sit on the gun and look through the sight while operating the weapon’s movement! The gun room’s wooden T & G panelling is also being altered to expose several original telephone communication mounting points and the various fittings will be replaced for next season.
Some new ‘In their footsteps’ displays depicting events that actually happened are also planned for next season including the M19’s Commander (The late Herr Engelbert Hoppe) being ushered ahead to set off any potential booby traps (!) by a visiting British Officer just after the Liberation.
The CIOS Committee has also been assisting with putting an interpretation panel together which has been created to allow visitors to better understand and interpret the site.