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Bovington Tank Museum

Bovington Tank Museum
Bovington,
Dorset
BH20 6JG
Nearest Train Station: Wool (1.3ml)
Nearest Motorway Junction: M27 J1

History

In the Dorset countryside lives one of the largest and most impressive collections of military hardware in the world. The tank museum boasts five cram packed halls of 150 types tanks and armoured vehicles of from over 25 countries ranging from WW1 to the modern day Gulf War.

There is also a recreation of the trenches highlighting the reality of warfare from the Great War from the initial recruitment to going 'over the top'... Not only does the exhibition show the conditions that the soldiers had to deal with there is also a life size model of the first tank to crash through the German trenches on 15th Sept 1916.There is also a 'For Valour' exhibition showing many of the medals that brave and courageous men would have been awarded, including many original photographs, artifacts and diaries telling the tales of how they were won.

Activity

ecent paranormal activity in the WW1 and WW2 halls have been reported, such as visitors frequently reporting strange things in photographs they have taken. Photographs also taken using standard 35mm cameras have had strange lights and distortions on the prints that can't be explained. A professional photographer commissioned by the Museum had many shots ruined by unexplained streaks of light across the photos.

Certain vehicles seem to attract more attention than others. Two vehicles that are of particular interest are both German and WW2 era; one being the Tiger and the other being a Hanomag an infantry carrier and half track. The Tiger is the source of The Museums most enduring ghost story. Since the arrival of this tank in the 1950s, there have been sightings of a German officer around the Tiger from both inside and outside the museum. So often has this figure been sighted, he was affectionately nicknamed `Herman the German`. He has recently been seen by a new member of staff who knew nothing of 'Herman'.

The Hanomag has often been described as a vehicle with a `presence`; a place near visitors had long felt uncomfortable, and captured strange distortions in photography. It was during recent restoration work on this vehicle that old paintwork was revealed, an insignia identifying that during the latter stages of the war at least, this half track had served as a field ambulance. A museum assistant was cleaning an information board when he heard someone walking past. As he turned to greet what he thought was his colleague, he found no one. In front of him stood the Hanomag.

The museum is full of machines that were designed for war that have witnessed some of the most distressing and testing human experiences it is possible to imagine. Each one has a story, the museum are only able to piece together small pieces of the puzzle. So many vehicles carry the scars of battle and we can only speculate on the fate of their occupants.
Other stories that have existed since the 60s and 70s include an occasion when a warden opened the museum one morning to discover that every light bulb in what is now the WW2 hall had been removed from its fitting and placed carefully on the floor directly below. Not one was broken even though the light bulbs hung some 15 up.

Finally, one local myth relates to the mysterious death of Bovington resident Lawrence of Arabia, who was knocked off his motorbike at nearby Clouds Hill. At dawn, 5.30 am, it is said that the distinctive sound of his motorbike can be heard at the place he fell from his bike.

Reports

Saturday, January 21, 2006
Saturday, March 05, 2005

Evidence

Soldier Spirit?
Light Anomalies

 

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