Observation shelter for Fragmentation Target Zone C & D – Ashley Walk Bombing Range

Front view of the Observation shelter for Fragmentation Target Zone C and D - Ashley Walk
Author: Gareth Owen

On the Ashley Walk Bombing Range there were two fragmentation target zone areas, identified with large letters cut into the ground and filled with chalk.  The two zones were A and B with the other zone C and D. These chalk letters are still visible from the air. Both areas are on the eastern side of the range with C and D just north of Amberwood Inclosure.  These target zones were each approximately 400 yards (366m) by 200 yards (183m) in size.

C and D zone was used for the testing of fragmentation bombs against surface targets including artillery and tranches.  To record the impact on troops wooden dummies were used and boards positioned to collect bomb fragments so that the fragmentation of the bombs could be recorded and the pieces analysed.

Camera and observation positions were installed to observe and record the tests. In a rear twist of fate the only surviving (accessible) WWII structure on the range is one of these brick built observation shelters and it can be visited near fragmentation target zone C and D.

As part of the New Forest Remembers WWII project a new information panel about the range was installed in this structure to help visitors to the area better understand the history of the landscape around them.

Further Reading

On this site the Ashley Range Overview page has links to pages about the other targets on the range.


Read more about installed information panel which is one of eight new WWII panels you can find in the Forest:
Ashley Walk Interpretation panels – Ashley Walk Bombing Range
Panel overview: Interpretation panels




Date: 1942

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