CHERUB campus was founded in late 1940 by naval commander Charles Henderson. The site was an abandoned village, next to a large military firing range.

Henderson's Boys lived and studied in an old school building, while Henderson and his family lived in a cottage next door. Training took place in a boggy wooded area, next to large lakes that were drained a few years later to create aircraft runways.

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By the sixties, CHERUB campus was beginning to grow. An admin building was constructed adjacent to the old school now the education building), as well as a new gymnasium for indoor training.

At this time, large areas of the present CHERUB campus were out of bounds due to 1000s of unexploded artillery shells and bullets used by American soldiers training for the invasion of France.

Many CHERUB agents and staff lived, worked and trained in cramped prefabricated Nissen huts built in the mid 1940s. This uncomfortable situation continued until the main building was constructed in the 1970s.

The two runways, aircraft hangar and control tower were built for use by the United States Air Force in the run up to the D-Day invasion, while the firing range was taken over by the US Army Artillery Service. This airfield was in use for less than six months and by the 1960s these buildings had fallen into disuse.

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By 1985, CHERUB campus had taken on its present layout and was penned on all sides by a high security brick perimeter.

The main building, fountain and a new entry gate were completed in 1978 and opened by Queen Elizabeth, on her only visit to CHERUB campus. One year later the athletics track was completed, with a secure nuclear bunker beneath it.

The aircraft hangar was refurbished in the late 1960s and used for martial arts training and target shooting, while the indoor swimming and diving complex is shown here under construction.

British Army engineers took more than 18 months to remove unexploded shells from the old artillery firing range. This enabled the construction of a proper basic training compound on the far side of campus. Despite this, unexploded shells still occasionally surface in the remotest parts of campus after heavy rain.

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The latest constructions on CHERUB campus are the technical department (1996), martial arts training dojo (2001), the medical centre (2002) and a new mission control building (2005). In 2008, the campus library opened its doors.

These are unlikely to be the last changes on CHERUB campus. In 2011 work will begin on a new ‘Campus Village’ situated in the area between mission preparation and the cricket field. This will provide living quarters for all CHERUB agents.

When the village is complete, the main building will be modernised to become a state of the art administration and education building, a new annexe will be built to house CHERUB staff and the elderly education building and gymnasium will be demolished.

Work is scheduled to be completed in time for Campus’ 75th Anniversary in 2015.

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