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second world war

Chaps of the War

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On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, a celebration of the most eccentric, daring, heroic chaps who fought on their own terms and displayed remarkable sangfroid in the face of the enemy DIGBY TATHAM-WARTER Formerly of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Major Tatham-Warter commanded the 2nd Parachute Battalion’s ‘A’ Company. ‘A’ Company were selected to spearhead the 2nd Battalion’s march to Arnhem bridge because Lt-Colonel Frost regarded Digby as a thruster, and not one to hang around – thereby making him the ideal choice to lead in an operation that depended on speed. Having captured the bridge and during…

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Rev Leslie Skinner

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“Caught up with RHQ at Enscheide by mid morning. Went down main street to see how things were going. Odd elements of German infantry being winkled out. Half way down main street firing broke out on both ends so I dived into a shop for cover. It was a barbers shop, so I had a haircut while waiting for things to simmer down.” Excerpt from the Rev Leslie Skinner’s war diary: 3rd April 1945 When Leslie Skinner landed on Gold Beach on 6th June, 1944, with the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, he had two missions: officially he was senior chaplain to…

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Trubshawe!

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Michael Trubshawe’s entrance into the life of David Niven was as sensational as any of Niven’s stage or film entrances. Niven was stationed in Malta with the Highland Light Infantry between 1929 and 1931 as a very young officer. His reception by the other officers had been rather frosty – one refusing to speak to him all the way to Malta from Tilbury Docks. Once he’d acquitted himself on the cricket ground, things got slightly better, until one day: “Suddenly, an ear-splitting belch rent the air. I spun around and perceived a truly amazing sight. Trubshawe was approaching. Six feet…

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War and Peace Revival

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Panzer Tanks look much more authentic in rivers of mud. The weather had turned dramatically in late July, from the hottest day on record to weather that felt more like 1942 by the fifth and last day of the War and Peace Revival. Visitors to the Hop Farm, Kent were greeted by rivers of mud as soon as they stepped out of their cars, the continuing rain joining in with the efforts of all the displays to create the atmosphere of wartime Britain. Entrance to the main site is via the fictional village of Trentham, where the Home Front has…

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