20 September 2017
Archaeologists investigating a former World War II military site in Wiltshire have unearthed an unexpected find when carrying out their excavations.
While digging up a disused artillery pit at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain, experts from Wessex Archaeology have come across a rare 1932 MG roadster – believed to have been used by training troops during the 1960s.
A rare find
The 85-year-old MG J2 has been described as “a real surprise” by Damien Campbell-Bell, of Wessex Archaeology while speaking to BBC News.
He told the broadcaster: “This particular MG J2 is pretty rare and was one of only 2,083 of this model ever made.
“We can tell from the tyre pattern the car was probably in use until the early 1960s, at which point it seems to have been placed in the artillery position.”
The archaeologists believe the dismantled vehicle may have been being repaired by a soldier, before being abandoned in a disused weapons pit.
Wessex Archaeology has now created a 360-degree model of the rare MG as it was found.
In April this year, Wessex Archaeology uncovered Larkhill’s battlefield landscape while clearing the site for new army housing. The site includes a vast network of tunnels and trenches that had been used to train troops.
There are no surviving plans of the landscape, but locals and experts have been aware of the trenches and tunnels and now experts say the “exciting find” is a strong indication that other military vehicles could be uncovered.
Speaking to BBC News, WYG archaeologist Martin Brown says the MG shows the “unrecorded side to life on an army camp”.
He added: “As a buried artefact it almost conforms to the urban myths of buried tanks, aircraft and equipment one hears about.”