Wave Knight delves into Gibraltar’s history

Crew of tanker RFA Wave Knight were given a unique tour of the tunnels carved beneath the Rock of Gibraltar when their ship made a pit-stop.

The tanker spent four days on the Rock, the last stop of her Gulf deployment before she starts offloading fuel, ammunition and stores to go into refit in Birkenhead.

The tunnel and cave network under the mountain is largely off limits to the general public. Some of the passages have been blocked off, others have been forgotten about over time, and some are still in use – both by the MOD or leased to private firms.

The tunnels were extensively used in World War II when the Rock became a bastion of liberty surrounded by Fascist nations.

The story – and sights such as the power station, underground hospital – of wartime Gibraltar was recounted for the knights by a volunteer guide from the ammo depot (which is buried deep in the Rock and is still in use today).

He took the sailors down the longest straight road in the British territory, ran through the highs and lows of Gibraltar’s history from plans by the Germans, Italians and Franco’s Spanish forces to occupy the Rock at various stages during the 20th Century, and outlined some otherworldly goings-on, chiefly the ghost of a major seen so many times by people working in the tunnels that they erected a small shrine in the location of the most frequent sightings.

Wave Knight is now making her way to Loch Striven in western Scotland to empty her fuel tanks at the MOD depot after seven months in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

The tunnels were extensively used in World War II when the Rock became a bastion of liberty surrounded by Fascist nations.