Sep 132019
 

Final preparations are gathering pace for the largest display of Auxiliary Units equipment ever put together, with many items never having been displayed before.

This is a large part of the National Trusts event on Sunday 22nd September marking the 75th anniversary of Auxiliary Units being stood down. Near Swindon, Wiltshire, SN6 7PT.

So much going on. See the Programme of Events and flyer below:

Come and learn about saboteurs, spies and secret messages hidden in tennis balls, designed to help thwart a German invasion…

C.A.R.T. will be set up in The Granary, so come and say hi.

Lots to explore all over the estate:

Sep 062019
 

Sunday September 22nd, 10am to 4pm. SN6 7PT

The grounds of Coleshill House are littered with Aux history. There’s the Guard House, replica SD hide, the remains of the huts where some of the men lived and worked. Grenade and rifle ranges, where they practiced on old tanks and lorries – even a piece of one of those tanks has been found.

We will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Auxiliers being stood down from service. These brave men and women volunteered to act as an underground resistance to the threatened German invasion in 1940.

What else ? Military vehicles, re-enactors, music & dancing, food and drink. For the kids there will be a special activity challenge trail, and code-breaking.

Replica bunker tours

Plus there are some special guests lined up too:

Malcolm Atkin: former archaeologist, military historian & professional author including these WW2 books –

Tony ‘Scallywag’ Salter: Living Historian and highly knowledgeable Aux Units enthusiast, Tony (and his lovely wife Julie) take their display all around the country educating as they go –

Auxiliary Unit talks from Chris Pratt (British Resistance Museum at Parham, Suffolk), and local historian Bill King who contributed to the book ‘With Britain in Mortal Danger’, as well as appearing in various television programmes.

Bill King & Chris Pratt

Of course C.A.R.T. will be there too, packing The Granary to the gunwales with displays of weapons, explosives and other equipment issued to the Auxiliers, a fully equipped bunker and re-creations of the wartime offices. There will be lots of items on display for first time in 75 years in this location, including numerous original documents and photographs.

This is a huge event and not to be missed.

Aug 302019
 

75th Anniversary Stand-Down event at Coleshill House, Sunday 22nd September.

Some of the exiting things to see at the big event on 22nd Sept, apart from the largest collection of Aux Units equipment ever assembled…

Researcher Bill Ashby has been busy producing a booklet about ‘Coleshill Estate in WW2 – General HQ Auxiliary Units 1940 – 1945’ that will be available at the event:

Roger Green (CART and The National Trust) has been active with a recent find in the grounds of Coleshill House which appears to be an early OB. Investigation and restoration project ongoing:

.. and we’ll have the Camp Commandant’s door to display !

tps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshill-underground-second-world-war-event-is-back

Who is this ? Did you know he was an Aux Intelligence Officer during the War ?

Mar 102019
 

2019 marks 75 years since the official Stand Down of the Auxiliary Units, and the 10th anniversary of CART research

Here are some of the events we are hoping to attend (subject to confirmation):

April 13th & 14th: Castletown at War, D-Day Museum, Portland, Dorset www.castletownddaycentre.com

April 14th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

May 25th & 26th: Nothe Fort, Weymouth 1940’s Weekend, Dorset https://nothefort.org.uk/news-events/1940s-home-front-family-weekend?occurrenc eID=311

May 12th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

June 8th & 9th: Southwick, D-Day Revival (also 75 years), Hampshire www.southwickrevival.co.uk

June 9th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

June 22nd & 23rd: The Axe Vale Show, Axminster, Devon www.axevaleshow.com/axevale-show-2019

June 30th: Hazelbury Mill, Military Vehicle event, Somerset http://www.haselburymill.co.uk/events-1

July 6th & 7th: Chickerell Steam & Vintage Show, Weymouth, Dorset www.chickerellsteamshow.uk

July 14th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

Aug 18th: The Mid Somerset Show, Somerset www.midsomersetshow.org.uk/

Sept 8th: Coleshill O.B. Open Day, Coleshill House, Oxfordshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-buscot-and-coleshill-estates/features/coleshills-second-world-war-secrets

September: Coleshill WW2 weekend, Coleshill, Oxfordshire WATCH THIS SPACE – this is going to be a BIG event: Coleshill House is where the Aux Units underwent their specialist training 1940 – 1944

The whole of the Granary will be filled by CART, The Scallywags, BROM (British Resistance Organisation Museum) and The Bob Millard (Aux Patrol member) Collection, marking 75 years since the Auxiliary Units were officially stood down… more information to follow…

Jun 012018
 

Coleshill House (SN6 7PT) was the hush-hush headquarters of Churchill’s Secret Army, or the Auxiliers. Discover the detailed history of their training and visit some of the remaining Second World War features around the village, including the Guard House and the original prototype underground training bunker or Operational Base (OB). Plus, check out the newly built and refurbished replica “funk hole” and see the new display of artifacts including a rare copy of a Stand-Down letter.

Day Times Availability
7 June 2018 18:00 – 20:00 Available
12 July 2018 18:00 – 20:00 Available
16 September 2018 10:00 – 12:00 Available
6 October 2018 14:00 – 16:00 Available

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/4cc948c4-d1f6-4b91-b911-a0e1ea3677c6/pages/details

Prices:  Adult £5.00 / Child £2.50

Contact Rachel Coltman to book on: 01793 762-209

Suitability: Children welcome (12+) / Assistance dogs welcome.
Park & meet: at the Coleshill Estate Office car park.
What to bring & wear: Please wear appropriate clothing for weather conditions. Flat sturdy shoes/boots/wellingtons advisable.
Accessibility: A fairly long, flat walk through the village, woods & fields.

Free afternoons are also available to experience the replica OB:

Day Times Availability
10 June 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
8 July 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
12 August 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
9 September 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available
14 October 2018 14:00 – 17:00 Available

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/74fa6412-18cc-40cd-b634-a3dcf13d9b6e/pages/details

 




Jul 122015
 


Ian Edwards & Bill Ashby

Today we welcomed Ian Edwards (left) to GHQ Coleshill.

Ian has been working on CAD drawings of Coleshill House and the important Stable Block for the last few years under the guidance of Bill Ashby (right) our Coleshill researcher.

The Stable Block was used by admin staff of the Auxiliary Units.

You can see more about Ian’s work and the Coleshill House Reborn Project here.

 




Jun 092013
 

Coleshill House From The AirWe recently updated the GHQ Coleshill pages on the site and simplified the navigation of the site tour.

New content has also been added on the replica Operational Base, the tunnels and mines under the house and why the site was selected and used for training.

Well worth a new look here.

Thanks to Bill Ashby, our CIO for Coleshill, for all the info.




Jan 022013
 

Auxiliary UnitsEric Grey was a Technical/Mechanical Transport Clerk at GHQ Coleshill with the Royal Army Service Corps.

The RASC contingent was responsible for driving the officers around and delivering stores all over the Country.

Eric provides a great background to what went on at Coleshill and his records have been able to verify many postings at the GHQ.

Read Bill Ashby’s full report on Eric here




Dec 072012
 

Today we added a real insight into life at GHQ Coleshill.

Cpl Joan Welborn worked in the stable block as a Typist during the war.

Read the full report and see images of her and others taken at Coleshill here

Our thanks to Joan and CART CIO for Coleshill Bill Ashby for preparing this page.

 




Sep 162012
 

As the sun sets over Coleshill and the re-enactors pack up their tents we look back at the past 48 hours and say well done to everyone who took part.

The weekend follows months of planning by the National Trust at Coleshill and was a vast improvement on the previous event in 2010.

There were many catering retailers this year and the food options were very tasty. Entertainment was provided by the Warneford Big Band and there was plenty to do for children and families from face painting to code breaking.

On Saturday the new replica Operational Base was opened by Coleshill trained Auxilier Bob Millard and after a brilliant speech he cut the ribbon with his Fairbairn Sykes dagger before taking the time to talk to young and old about his training and service.

Crowds then queued for hours to have a sneak peak inside the unfinished building.

CART researchers wandered around the vast estate answering questions and helping people find the key parts of the site.

On both days there were three talks given. Bill King spoke about how the Auxiliers were formed. Karen Fielder spoke about the architectural masterpiece that was Coleshill House and Chris Pratt from the British Resistance Museum at Parham educated listeners on the three elements to the British Resistance Movement.

The talks were full on both days.

Auxiliary Re-Enactors brought the sites wartime use to life with weapons displays, loud bangs and hands on practical education of weapons and explosives used. Tony Salter brought his excellent mobile Aux display and fired up the children’s imagination.

The 70 year old original Operational Base set deep in the Coleshill woods was also open and National Trust volunteer

Roger Green provided guided tours and more than comfortably filled the boots of the late warden Keith Blaxhall.

There were many vintage vehicles on display with the Austin 7 club and the Military Vehicle Trust (MVT) present.

On Sunday CART researchers set up a small display in the Granary and answered many questions from the public.

Impressionist, playwright and comedian Rory Bremner even popped in and picked up a CART flyer. Later he posted on Twitter.

More information on the weekend and all the images can be found here

Thanks to all who took part and all who attended and special thanks to Keith Blaxhall who kept the Aux fire burning at Coleshill for over 30 years.