Site Records


Site Name: RAF Debden - Sector Operations Centre

TL570345
Water Lane
Debden, Essex
[Source: Nick Catford]

During the war RAF Debden was one of the 7 sector airfields attached to 11 (Fighter) Group at RAF Uxbridge. The camp now houses Carver Barracks and is occupied by the Royal Engineers (33 Engineer Regiment Ordnance Division). The Sector Operations Centre (built in 1941) consists of a brick and concrete windowless operations block surrounded by a blast wall and grass covered earth banks.

Photo: The Sector Ops. Block
Photo by Nick Catford

The building is little changed from WW2 days although it has been stripped of all original fixtures and fittings and is currently only used for some light storage although in the past the well has housed a boxing ring. The bunker is roughly 'L' shaped with the main entrance on the south side along a doglegged passage through the earth mound. The first room on the left of a short corridor was the plant room but this has now been completely stripped apart from some electrical boxes. Next to the corridor is the male toilet still retaining its tiled walls; the water supply has now been disconnected. The corridor then opens onto one end of the wide east - west balcony overlooking the sunken well; this was the operations room. There are stairs down into the well at one end and a slightly raised walkway around three sides of the well.

Photo: The 'ops' room
Photo by Nick Catford

There are four rooms at the back of the balcony each with a window looking on to it. On the far end of the balcony a doorway leads to a north - south corridor and the rear entrance adjacent to the female toilets. There are seven rooms accessed from this corridor but all of them are either empty or used for storage. Many of the original 1939 buildings around the base have gone with new buildings replacing them. Some original buildings do remain however including a number of air-raid shelters scattered around the camp (all sealed), the armoury, the impressive officers mess and the only remaining hanger on the site an impressive C Type. Although it's still used for vehicle storage it leaks and is considered structurally unsafe. It's due to be demolished within the next few years when part of the camp is rebuilt.


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Last updated 28th September 2003

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