This naval reserve was used before the war for the Contraband Control Service and was commissioned as a shore base in October 1939. With the advent of war and the new role for HMS Fervent, auxiliary buildings were built nearby for administrative use and, just as in Dover, tunnels under the cliffs soon became used for air raid shelters and for the base ammunition magazine.
HMS Fervent soon faced the hazard of magnetic mines, which were plentiful in the waters of the Thames Estuary and were also key in preparation for the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. In 1941 its role was increased further when it saw use as a Coastal Defence Force base, providing much-needed support to Dover. From the D-Day landings on 6th June 1944 onwards, a coastal patrol operated out of Ramsgate under the control of HMS Fervent and played a vital role in keeping the waters clear of the midget submarines.
Also known as Wellington Caves.
Condition: Very poor
Date Of Visit: 10/01/08