Battlefield History Tours

Battlefield History Tours
Incorporating History and Heritage tours

Bomber Command and RAAF in the UK Tour 9 July 2018


Today we started our move to the north and will be arriving in York in 2 days' time but first we had a few visits on the way. Leaving Salisbury at 0830 we he added north west towards Bath but on the way stopped into Sutton Veny. Sutton Veny was the centre of quite a lot of hospitals and rehabilitation locations for those wounded on the Western Front and brought here for treatment. Sutton Veny is located on the edge of the Salisbury plain and it was this area that much training was conducted prior to moving overseas to take part in the campaign on the Western Front. It was then reasonable to use that infrastructure that moved the men forward to battle to then utilise that same system to bring back the casualties. Many of the wounded did succumb to their injuries and there are cemeteries located around the areas where the hospitals were established.

One such Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery is located at Sutton Veny behind the beautiful Church. There are over 250 graves in the cemetery but not all were the result of war wounds. We have medical orderlies, 2 nurses, doctors and the Matron of the hospital lying at peace here. All were in fact the victims of the Spanish Flu that took such a toll on many who had served. As per normal, the cemetery is beautifully kept by the local people on behalf of the Commission and filled with flowers growing in the beds around the graves. A lovely peaceful place to visit and to remember those who were lost. In the Communal Cemetery at the front of the Church is a cross of Remembrance with the names of those from the village who fought and were lost. Interesting there is on the memorial a Pte Pond, AIF. Strange to see an AIF man on a village Memorial but Pte Pond was born in the village, emigrated to Australia and fought as an Australian, but, his village has remembered his sacrifice.

Back on the road, through Bath and onto the Fosse Way for our move. We called into Leighterton Village. A location where the Australian Flying Corps set up its training establishment to train and equip its own flyers for the First World War. Australia was the only Commonwealth Country to train and equip its Flying Corps during the War. There are 23 Australians buried in the CWGC there and all died due to flying accidents. We conducted a small Service of Remembrance and they visited the 12th Century Church in the village where there is an ANZAC Corner. A beautiful old Church set in lovely grounds. It seems that as Prince Charles has his main estate not far from here, he visits the Church on many occasions during the year to attend the Service with the people of the village. I visited Jenny Scott, whose Husband Patrick is on the Church Council, but could not meet Patrick as her is having a spell in hospital following an operation but we hope will be well soon.

On to Broadway, the Jewel of the Cotswolds where we had time for a long lunch and some touristy type activities, looking and buying!!! Ken decided that he would walk the 5 klm up to the Broadway Tower and when there he really enjoyed the 360 degree beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.

We then made our way to our hotel in Wolverhampton through very heavy traffic due to issues on the roads in the general area but safely we arrived and were welcomed ny Anna and the staff of the Novotel Hotel. Tomorrow York.


Graham Fleeton
Battlefield History Tours.


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