A SECRET World War II bunker has been unearthed just a few miles from Tweedsmuir.

Fears over a Nazi invasion led to a secret army being formed at home in the early 1940s.

The so called Auxilliary Unit were trained in explosives and guerilla-style attacks to disrupt the Germans.

And they were all sworn to secrecy - with their families not even aware of their involvement.

Secret underground bunkers were built across the British mainland.

Although operational bases have been found over the decades near Selkirk, Duns and Newtown St Boswells in the Borders, the underground bunker at Craigielands forest was unknown.

Forestry and Land Scotland archaeologist Matt Ritchie said: "This discovery gives us an insight into one of the most secretive units that were operating during World War II.

“It’s quite rare to find these bunkers as their locations were always kept secret – most were buried or lost.

“From records, we know that around seven men used this bunker and at the time were armed with revolvers, Sten guns submachine guns, a sniper’s rifle and explosives.”

Before his death almost a decade ago Peebles resident Bill Watson wrote an account of the Auxilliary Unit's activities in Berwickshire.

His book, Gone to Ground, described the covert operations in detail.

It is believed that there are many more bunkers still to be discovered with known Units operating out of areas around Galashiels, Greenlaw and Lauder.

No details have ever emerged about involvement around Peebles, Innerleithen or West Linton.

The Craigielands bunker, which is near Moffat, was discovered by Forestry and Land Scotland surveyor Kit Rodger.

He said: “The bunker was missing from our records but as a child I used to play in these woods and visit the bunker so I knew it was there somewhere.

“It was 40 years ago so I only had vague memories of the location and the vicinity had changed a lot and was overgrown with bracken.

"However, I stumbled across a shallow trench and this led to the bunker door.”

The recently discovered bunker was built to the standard design and was accessed via a hatch at the end of a narrow passage.

A second escape hatch was reached at the end of a ladder leading from the other end of the bunker.

The bunker would have contained bunk beds, a table and cooking stove as well as guns, explosives and ammunition.