Visiting the National Trust’s Hughenden Manor near High Wycombe

We visited Hughenden Manor, the home of Benjamin Disraeli the influential prime minister during Queen Victoria’s reign.

We thought we’d visited all of the major National Trust houses in the South East of England. It appears not, as we’d not visited Hughenden Manor. It’s less than a couple of miles north of High Wycombe – so not that far away from us in Surrey Heath.

The day of our visit, this week, had us enveloped with hot weather, which saw us chasing the shade in the delightful gardens. It’s a most interesting house, with many of the rooms much as they’d have been in Disraeli’s time. Apart from the fascinating story of Disraeli, and his love of his country home at Hughenden, wonderfully told by the guides, the house was home during WW2 to the highly secret map making operations. This piece of the Manor’s history was uncovered by accident in 2004, again this story is wonderfully told by guides. Here’s my brief video montage of our visit.

Listening to Surrey Heath Heritage Gallery talks

Surrey Heath has a Heritage Gallery located in the Camberley Mall, don’t you know. I expect you do. Did you also know that the Gallery hold lunchtime talks? The schedule of them is in the image below.

I mostly find I’m doing something else on Thursday lunchtimes. This week I’m making an effort to listen to Roy Sellstrom’s talk on ‘The Military in Deepcut’. Roy is hugely knowledgeable on the topic, and being ex-armed services has the experience to add insight to the subject. Click on the image to expand.

Things to do: RLC Museum evening lecture on “Battlefield Success” by Fraser Skirrow

The upcoming lecture, in the always interesting Royal Logistic Corps Museum’s evening lectures, on Thursday June 1st 2017 by Fraser Skirrow is entitled “Battlefield Success –  achieving tactical excellence in an infantry battalion 1916-18”.

In January 1917 the 62nd Division went to France – a second line territorial unit, it had no experience of the realities of the Western Front and its first engagements were disastrous. By 1918 it was acknowledged to be one of the most reliable and aggressive units in the army.

This talk looks in great detail at how one battalion of the 62nd changed its tactics, weapons, and the skills of its officers and men throughout that period.

Surrey Heath Museum heritage walks, a great way to learn about local history

Surrey Heath Museum organise regular heritage walks in the borough. They’re a great way a learning about local history of places, people, and things.

One walk I thoroughly recommend is The RMA Monuments and Memorials Walk, having taken it. In my article on the walk – see HERE – I don’t give too much away, as there’s so much fascinating history, which I only touch on.

Major Dale Clarke and his RLC Museum lecture on “Arming Britain’s Wartime Secret Army”

The evening lecture series at the Royal Logistic Corps Museum generally uncovers the little known stories or understood aspects of Britain’s military history.

Thursday evening’s lecture this week on “Arming Britain’s Wartime Secret Army” by Major Dale Clarke is one such story. He told of the establishment, in 1940, of Auxillary Units, which were a secret irregular army, of men with an intimate knowledge of their local area, who were highly trained in guerrilla tactics hiding out in rural locations ready to fight should there have been a German invasion.

After the lecture I spoke with Dale, and about his book Britain’s Final Defence – Arming the Home Guard 1940-44.