HMS Fervent was commissioned as a shore base on 10 October 1939, with, according to naval custom, a small motor boat as its ‘name ship’. The large amusement building, Merrie England, was requisitioned for the accommodation of ratings and stores. Army-type huts were erected in the grounds for office and administrative accommodation. It was not long before the tunnels under the cliffs had been utilised as protection from the air raids and for the base ammunition magazine
These rooms and tunnels are in the cliff beneath Wellington Cresent in Ramsgate and were used during WW2 as air raid shelters and ammunition stores for the 2 large guns that were based on the green near the band stand.
They were 6 inch naval guns in steel turrets which were backed with concrete blast shelters. The site of the Merrie England amusement building, later known as Pleasurama which burned down in 1998, was used as offices and huts were built as staff accommodation.
It is widely believed that these tunnels and rooms alone are “HMS Fervent”, however much of Ramsgate harbour was used as the HMS Fervent shore base, with motor torpedo boats and motor gun boats carrying out operations against enemy naval forces in the channel and north sea.
For a more in depth article with some wonderful images click HERE
The image below shows one of the entrances to the tunnels being uncovered…
A brief introduction to HMS Fervent can be found HERE
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