Hampshire and D-Day - Page 2

During the Second World War over five hundred landing craft and barges used the Beaulieu River. While concealed in the grounds of the large houses along the river were numerous clandestine organisations, ranging from hydrographic survey, frogmen and commando units and S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) training schools. The author Nevil Shute a Lieutenant Commander in the RNVR worked with a team of scientists on the mud flats down river, experimenting with rockets and rocket launchers. The anchor and plaque at Buckler's Hard is dedicated to the memory of the role that people and the Beaulieu River played during the war.                                                                              Photo: David Packman


One of the berths used by the Motor Gun Boats and Motor Torpedo Boats based at Buckler's Hard.

Photo: David Packman


A small plaque on this seat by the A32 at Droxford, gives a hint of the village's connection with D-Day

Photo: David Packman


Now a private house, the old Meon Valley railway station at Droxford. Prior to D-Day a train carrying Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, members of his war cabinet and leaders from overseas governments arrived here on the 2nd June 1944. They visited troops in the area and held last minute talks with the Overlord commanders. It's said that Droxford was chosen because of the nearby tunnel, if an air raid occurred the train and its passengers would be driven into the tunnel for safety.   Photo: David Packman


Lepe - The view east towards Stansore Point. The anchor was presented by Fawley Parish Council and dedicated to the memory of those who gave their lives on D-Day, when thousands of allied troops departed from these shores for France.                                                             Photo: David Packman


These two surviving bollards at Lepe were used for securing ships during loading of supplies and troops. In the sea are two "dolphin" iron structures, these are all that remain of the jetties used to load vessels bound for Normandy. Parts of the Mulberry Harbour were also constructed at Lepe. Launched at high tide they were later towed across the English Channel to Normandy where they formed two harbours, one at Arromanches (British & Canadian) and the other at St Laurent (American). Lepe was one of the many locations along the south coast where parts of the harbours were built, eventually over 45,000 men were employed in their construction.                                                                 Photo: David Packman


During the Second World War the New Forest became home to several airfields. All that remains of the 2000 yard main runway at Stoney Cross, is a minor forest road (below). During its' war service it was home to both Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force units until it finally closed in 1948.                                                              

Photo: David Packman


This simple cross at Mogshade Hill is made from New Forest oak and a permanent memorial to all Canadian forces encamped in the New Forest. The forest had became a vast camp prior to D-Day, with troops waiting to leave for the invasion of Europe. The original cross made from pine, was erected on the 14th April 1944 by the Rev. Perdue the padre of the 3rd Canadian Division, RCASC. The padre held services here until the troops left for the beaches of Normandy on the 6th June 1944.                                                                                                                   Photo: David Packman

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        All Photographs copyright David Packman © 2002 - 2009 (All Rights Reserved)