by John Leete
The New Forest at War documents the social and military history of this unique area of Britain during the Second World War. The Forest was on the front line in the build-up of D-Day in June 1944 and with over 100 photographs and many first-hand accounts it provides a fascinating snapshot of life at this critical time in the nation’s history.
The author’s interest in the New Forest and its wartime history evolved from a chance meeting with a veteran in Ringwood. The veteran, who had travelled from the USA and was visiting his former wartime airfield at Stoney Cross, told stories of his experiences and how important it was to remember those who never returned.
The New Forest at War was John Leete’s first book and he has since written several well respected titles on the theme of Britain’s Home Front during World War II. He is a Hampshire based Historian and he enjoys collecting and displaying Home Front memorabilia as well as writing about and giving Talks on the subject of wartime Britain.
Foreword by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu 4
Introduction by Dr Julian Lewis 6
1 The Dawn of War 8
2 Recollections of D-Day 38
3 We Did Our Bit 51
4 RAF Ibsley: Spitfire Days 58
5 Typhoon Tales 70
6 Pylewell’s War Effort 77
7 The Secret Forest 90
8 The Beaulieu Estate at War 94
9 Exbury in Military Service 104
10 Waterside’s War 114
11 Stoney Cross: Memories of a Teenager 124
12 Through the Eyes of the Children 131
13 Cake, Church & Cricket 148
14 Breamore:The Patton Connection 153
15 A Soldier Remembers 164
Epilogue:The Legacy Lives On 176