Visit to Kennet Valley at War Museum
Having had a talk from volunteers of the Kennet Valley at War Trust last year we were delighted to visit the museum they have created at Littlecote House for our April meeting.
Littlecote House was requisitioned by the War Office during the Second World War and was used to accommodate a succession of British, Canadian and American military units between September 1939 and September 1945. We began our tour at the memorial to those men who were based in the area:
48th Infantry Division
42nd Infantry Division
26th Armoured Brigade
23rd Armoured Brigade
2nd Armoured Brigade
34th Army Tank Brigade
20th Armoured Brigade
2nd Independent Parachute Brigade
Canadian Army 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
549th Anti-Aircraft Battalion
366th Ordnance Company (Anti-Aircraft)
Our next stop was The Aldbourne Stable
The Trust have moved and renovated the last remaining stable, which once formed part of the Hightown stable yard in Aldbourne. During the Second World War the stables at Hightown were used as quarters by American soldiers.
We then moved inside Littlecote House and were given a guided tour of the great hall, library and other rooms together with how each room was utilized during WW2.
The museum itself is on the first floor and contains an excellent collection of artefacts, some of which are donated by ex-service men and their families.
We found a couple of doors donated by Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates from Bradfield Farm. Troops were based at Benham and some of our members can remember the old cricket pavilion on the Benham Cricket Ground (now gone) being used as a mess.
Thanks to the volunteers of the Kennet Valley at War Trust for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
You can find out more at their website http://www.kennetvalleyatwar.co.uk/