The mountains and the military

El Alamein Refuge Glenmore Lodge Winter ML Training cGMcEwan To mark Remembrance Day and as part of the First World War centenary commemorations, Mountain Training is compiling a list of interesting places in the hills which hold some military significance. The aim is to create a useful resource for people who enjoy learning a little history while walking in our hills and mountains and it is hoped that this list will grow as others contribute. The number in brackets is a six figure grid reference for each site.

Here is a short list to start the ball rolling:
  • Llyn Dulyn (Black Lake), Carneddau, Snowdonia (700665)
    Home to at least 20 aircraft crashes, mostly planes flying west, returning to their training bases near the coast. Wreckage can still be found by the lake. For more information, see No Landing Place by Edward Doylerush.

  • Wellington R1465 crash, Waun Rhyd, Brecon Beacons (062200)
    Canadian crew crashed 6th July 1942 and there is a memorial to the five men who died in the crash. For more information see Rocks in the Clouds by Edward Doylerush. In addition there is a large stone memorial at the site which is visited by the Brecon RAFA each Remembrance Day and a poppy wreath is laid. Canada recognises this spot as an official Canadian War Memorial. In addition to this site there are another 12 sites in the Beacon Beacons / Black Mountains with wreckage and several more known but without wreckage all from WW2. The following book should assist any interested walkers: “Aircraft Crash Sites in the Brecon Beacons – A walkers Guide” by Barry Hill (ISBN: 978-1-905795-79-6).

  • Fell and Rock Climbing Club memorial, Great Gable, Central Fells, Lake District (211103)
    A plaque, erected in 1924 and dedicated to the members of the FRCC who were killed during World War One.

  • Commando Basic Training Centre (175880), Achnacarry and Commando Boat Station (186876), Bunarkaig, west shores of Loch Lochy, West Highlands
    Both of these sites were used to train British and Norwegian commandos during the Second World War. In addition to this Commando Training Centre there are several more that are spread up the West Coast of Scotland and were used by British, Norwegian, USA, French, Polish, Czech, Dutch etc soldiers to be trained as WW2 Commandos. The Highlands and West coast mountains and lakes were the ideal summer and winter training grounds for the specialised Mountain and Amphibious warfare training the Commandos undertook. All were Army volunteers except for the Royal Marines who were ordered to retrain. The following book gives the history of WW2 Commando Training in Scotland and maps all the training centres. “Commando Country" by Stuart Allen (ISBN: 978-1905267149).

    The Commando centres were also used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to train there undercover agents before going behind enemy lines in Europe, N Africa etc. This included men and woman and all were military parachute trained.

  • Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge, Highlands (208824)
    ‘United we conquer. In memory of the officers and men of the commandos who died in the Second World War 1939-1945. This country was their training ground.’ There is a path connecting the Commando Memorial to the High Bridge (200821), formerly part of General Wade’s military road, over the River Spean.

    There is a Commando Museum in Spean Bridge itself in the Commando Hotel just down the road from the Spean Bridge Station where all potential Commandos arrived before running the 7 miles to Achnacarry (Item 4) with full kit (36lbs and rifle) in 1 hour. Over the hour and you walked back to the station and returned to unit without starting training.

  • El Alamein Refuge, Strath Nethy, Highlands (016053)
    Built in memory of the 51st Highland Division by the Artificer Apprentices from HMS Caledonia, Rosyth. The Gordon Highlanders formed one of the main infantry components of the division and were recruited form the Strath Nethy area. This refuge is well camoflaged and notoriously hard to find.

  • Fuselage Gully, Beinn Eighe, Northwest Highlands (943603)
    An appropriately named winter route, the gully holds the remains of a Lancaster TX264 which crashed in 1951 on a training flight from RAF Kinloss.

Thanks to Major Mark White for contributing to the above information.
If you would like to add a site or other information please email details to

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