Army Cadet Slept In Anderson Shelter For Three Months

Cadet Ben Hall raised money for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance

A 14-year-old British Army cadet spent his summer sleeping in a homemade replica Anderson Shelter to raise money for charity. 

Cadet Ben Hall has raised £4,250 for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, and for his phenomenal efforts, he has been awarded the Commandants Coin. He said:

“I’m very proud, I didn’t know that there was an award like this, so it was quite a big surprise.”

He built the replica air raid shelter and set himself the challenge of sleeping in it over the summer, until he returned to school in September. 

For three and a half months Ben slept in the shelter, with the exception of a couple of nights in a tent while the shelter dried out from the rain. He said:

"When we had loads of rain it turned into a pond and I had to put a tent up and sleep in the tent."

The teenager spoke to BFBS Radio broadcaster Natasha Reneaux about what the experience was like, saying that his favourite part was people asking him questions and their assumptions of what it was like to stay in the shelter. 

Most people assumed it would be too cold to sleep in over night, but apparently the mud was the key to good insulation. He said:

"The mud keeps it cool during the day and then at night the mud keeps the heat in."

Cadet Ben Hall with his Commandant Coin. Credit Shelley Hall