Should this story have been unearthed at Halloween time? In any case, a legend that refuses to die tells of an unnamed Canadian soldier buried somewhere underneath the Dunsfold Aerodrome concrete. The airstrip is best known for having served as the location for the Top Gear test track for decades.

As the original story goes, a Royal Canadian Engineer was reportedly killed during the construction of a runway at Dunsfold, during the Second World War. The second battalion of the RCE had been called in to help construct the aerodrome in time, and a 1960s book details the Mechanical Equipment Company, the Road Construction Company and the Canadian Forestry Corps along with the Canadian Army Service Corps Reinforcement Unit as actually having finished the work two weeks ahead of schedule in 1942. No proof has ever come to light that the pressing schedule caused an accident victim to be buried on the spot, under one of the runways. The National Post reports that three servicemen actually perished during the construction, but that all are accounted for.

The likely-to-be-apocryphal story surfaces again, as there are plans to turn the aerodrome into residential housing. Such plans have been afoot for quite long now, and the track has been on borrowed time for years; a council committee's ten-to-eight vote approved the development plans in December. Currently the site houses a business park with around 100 businesses.

But as the track could be wiped out by houses, with the mystery serviceman said to be buried somewhere in there, some locals opposing the redevelopment have voiced "concerns that construction on the site might amount to the desecration of a grave." Whether you believe the story or not, losing a great automotive enthusiast location would be a sorry tale in itself. Surely the houses might end up haunted by ghosts of Canadian servicemen and past Top Gear Stig characters?

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