Map symbol query

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by WulfricWulfstan, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. My brother in law recently showed me an OS map, that appears to be from the mid to late 30's, that has numerous war time sites marked on it. I've been able to work out the obvious ones, which are hatched areas indicating airfields, but there a couple which I can't. The reason I'm interested is that a couple of them are just down the road from where I live.

    The two symbols are a capital "A" and a circle enclosing a "+". Both are located in the same wooded area. The map appears to be a standard public OS map, so not sure if the symbols are military or something made up by a civilian or perhaps even a spy.

    Has anybody come across these types of symbols before?
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  2. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    A capital A has been used to indicate an AA telephone box, but one would expect it to be on a road rather than in a wood!. I cannot pin down the second one, though there are some slightly weird compound signs occasionally used to indicate a church incorporating a trig point, but I would expect it to involve a triangle rather than a circle!

  3. Should of mentioned this at the time. All these extra symbols have been hand drawn onto the map using a pencil, not printed.
  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    If these are military symbols then A is an ammunition point and a cross in a circle is a wireless station.

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  5. That's very interesting. I'm going to see about having a poke around and see if I can see any trace. If a wireless station it could of been mobile, so nothing to find, but worth a look.
  6. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

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  7. Ok. Had a look. The Wireless one looks promising, even though just a circle with the + inside it. The Ammunition I think is wrong as the one on the map I saw didn't have a rectangle around it. Looking on that symbol guide the A used for Airborne troops looks closer to it as it was a large capital A with nothing surrounding it.

    The location is along side Magna Road in Bearwood, Dorset. From here there would of been access to Hurn airfield as well as the airfields in the New Forest, possibly Compton Abbas as well.
  8. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Some initial thoughts:
    • Any chance of a scan/photo to proverbially save using 1,000 words ?
    • My 30 June 1939 reprint of the WO's ...
      Notes on Map Reading / 1929 / (Reprinted with Amendments (Nos. 1 to 4) 1939)
      ... has a 1937 Plate VI agreeing with Richard's 1941 Plate II in that s should always be annotated - conventionally with "W/T", "R/T", 'B' or "D/F" to define which of the 4 standard station types is meant - so I'm wondering, if suitably positioned to act as such and because there really ought to be one even if non-standard, whether the 'A' is perhaps a custom annotation (presumably not defined, for the avoidance of doubt, by an explanatory marginal/overleaf note) ?
    • Also consider context > as in map edition/scale and who may have annotated it (e.g. local Home Guard ?) as that should clue you in where to look for further examples - main split being local history centres (for HG) vs national/regimental museums (for mainstream service arms). And don't forget, if talking local, where the Hants/Dorset border lay back then before Bournemouth sought to subsume Poole - to maybe pick between the likes of the Hampshire Record Office and the Dorset History Centre.
    • Have you tried a Google image search (e.g. this) BTW ?
  9. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to try and get a copy of the map, either scan it or use my SLR to grab a photo, or even just get a grab of the section in question. I've been "Googling" this from a number of angles :) but not really found anything that helps.

    I've put together a "mock up" using Google Earth to give some context to what I'm talking about. I did find a Luftwaffe photo of the area on line and from the preview I saw the wooded area is still about the same size. Was wondering if it could be sheltering troops, but not sure if area too small?

  10. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    Just quickly,

    I've never been onto Canford Heath (much less Stoat's Hill) but have cobbled together this pair of OS comparisons to meanwhile get a better idea - your GE image incidentally twisted 18° clockwise to put N uppermost.
    1888-1913 - map - Stoat's Hill 6'' OS comparison.jpg 1937-1961 - map - Stoat's Hill 2½'' OS comparison.jpg
    Whilst the wood is roughly the same shape this does show it as having fairly recently shrunk quite a bit back toward New Covert due to tree loss from its SW side. The only significant feature seems to be an old covered reservoir, not far S of your , that presumably used to serve the various nurseries shown on OS' 2nd edition 6" map.
  11. Having had a look that's a fair point. I went and found the site that had the Luftwaffe photos on and it does show it to be more wooded. I have uploaded a copy. It is a screen grab, so not too great. Does anybody think there would of been enough coverage?


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