Lords Bridge (Maintenance Unit No.95), built in 1944, is located 5 miles south west of Cambridge, was a Forward Filing Depot comprising two 250-ton mustard storage pots and held stocks of chemical weapons
In Jan 1955 while workmen were cutting up metal nearby an enormous explosion came from one of the pots shattering it. A cloud of toxic black smoke the spread over the surrounding countryside.
The particular bravery of a Corporal John Saunders in putting out the fire saw him later awarded the George Medal
The Chemical pots were not removed finally until the 1980’s
Today the New Anglia Water Company has a pumping station on the site
It is also part occupied by the University of Cambridge, Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory
Bowes Moor, Maintenance Unit No. 81, is situated near Barnard Castle in County Durham. This site stored weapons charged with mustard, phosgene and lewisite on an area of 564 acres of moorland. In total 17,000 tonnes of chemical agent was stored on the site.
After the fall of Allied Forces in Dunkirk, with CW returned from the continent it was suggested that a remote open site ideally on moorland in the north of England should be found for the establishment of an open air CW reserve depot. After underground storage was found unsuitable
The move of RAF bombs to Bowes Moor began in December 1941
In the first year sheep were let freely graze amongst the munitions. They quickly consumed the tarpaulins covering 65Lbs liquid chemical bombs and then attempted to eat the shell/bombs themselves, puncturing many of the thin cased shells much to their-the sheep and the bombs-ultimated disadvantage. Later on the soldiers erected many miles of sheep proof fencing and gates.
Today there are parts of the site fenced off from the public
and to this day the sheep still graze the site.
Porton Down is the United Kingdom’s government military science park. It is situated slightly northeast of Porton near Salisbury in Wiltshire. It is located within a vast Ministry of Defense
During the Second World War, research concentrated on chemical weapons such as nitrogen mustard, plus biological weapons including anthrax and botulinum toxin.
In the 1950’s chemical and biological tests were carried out on ‘volunteer’ service personnel
Presently the site is involved amongst other activities in the testing of anthrax and toxic nerve agents on animals.
With thanks to Experimentsrus for the the Freedom of Information request to get these series of videos, that show biological field trials in the Porton Down site in Wiltshire in the 1950’s.
Located half a mile off-shore between Tulsta Head and Cellar Head.
Operation Cauldron was a series of biological weapons tests (UK Biological Weapons Program 57) involving the spraying and bombing of pneumonic plague bacilli and brucellosis on a series of floating pontoons in September 1952
During the trials 3,492 guinea pigs and 83 monkeys were used in this manner. Humans as well as other animals ended up being exposed in these trials. On the last day of Cauldron, a fishing vessel, the Carella, strayed into the path of a trial using the plague. It ignored warnings to steer clear and unwittingly sailed through a cloud The trawler was tailed by two naval vessels for 21 days, waiting for any distress call causing concern about a possible plague outbreak around its home port in north-west England.
When none came, almost all records of the incident were burnt.
The crew of the Carella were unaware of the incident until approached by a BBC documentary crew more than fifty years later
Wigg Island is a Local Nature Reserve near Runcorn in Halton, Cheshire, England. It lies between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal.
During the Second World War it was a centre for the production of mustard gas as Wiggs Works East, then Randles. After the war it was operated by ICI. Production ended in the 1960s.
The nature reserve covers 57 acres and is used by birdwatchers.There is a visitor centre and a wind turbine. It is reached via a swing bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. The site was heavily contaminated and had to be cleaned up before use as a nature reserve