SWWEC – Second World War Experience Centre

BMMHS Partner

The Second World War Experience Centre  – SWWEC

A UK registered Charity which exists to collect and encourage access to the personal testimony of men and women who lived through the years of the Second World War and to promote the use of this material for education. The archive is frequently accessed by educators, authors, students, the media and individuals from all over the world.
For over 20 years now we collect and conserve memories and documents, letters, photos etc relating to the WWII period and the personal testimony of those who lived through it in whatever capacity, service or civilian, axis, allied or neutral. The Centre holds over 9,000 lives with almost 5,000 audio memories and over 100,000 thousand documents, photos, maps, artwork etc
Beyond collecting and conserving, the aim is ensure that different audiences have the opportunity to share and learn from the personal recollections conserved in the SWWEC collection – we are enhancing the possibilities by digitising the material and providing access where permitted via the internet to the widest possible audience.

For further details on the valuable work conducted by SWWEC :-


Gulf War Logistics and the challenges of medical resupply – Friends of Millbank

Gulf War Meds Details

Thursday, 25th February 2021

18:30 pm

BMMHS members  are welcome to attend any of the Friends of Millbank talks, they are all virtual this year. Registration for each talk is via the Friends of Millbank website, the month of the talk.
Their programme and the flyer for  forthcoming talks can be downloaded from our website www.friendsofmillbank.org 
Friends of Millbank ask for a donation of £5 per talk from attendees, to help cover expenses. Alternatively, it is more cost-effective for most people to simply enrol as a Friend of Millbank, taking out the annual subscription of £20 which entitles you to free attendance at all talks (we have 12 this year), as well as other benefits, including free membership of the British Society for the History of Medicine as an affiliate member. Membership is open to all.
Contact details: 

Prior registration is required via 


The French Invasion of Britain in 1797 – Zoom talk by Patrick Mercer Friday 5th Feb 7:00pm

Zoom talk with drone footage on 'The French Invasion of Britain in 1797' on Friday 5th February at 7.00pm by Patrick Mercer, OBE.

In 1797 Britain lay at the mercy of Revolutionary France.  In January she tried to put troops ashore in Bantry Bay in Ireland and, although that failed, The Directory started to flick a line of dominoes that should have seen Britain under the shadow of the guillotine.  Luck was not on the invader’s side, though.  In February a Spanish fleet – destined to sweep the Channel clear of the Royal Navy – was smashed at Cape St Vincent; an amphibious raid on Cornwall was cancelled and another on Newcastle never materialised.  All that was left was a hugely ambitious operation to raise the ‘rebellious’ Welsh against the Crown.

On 22 February a few thousand Frenchmen of dubious military quality, were put ashore south of Fishguard in Pembrokeshire.  The few days that folowed were a triumph for Welsh forces – soldiers and civilians alike – and a stain on French pride.  But, it was a Napoleonic adventure fit for Hornblower or Captain Aubrey that restored hope for Britain that she would not be crushed.

Patrick Mercer OBE – who’s been studying this incident since he was a boy – will lead you through one of the oddest and least known episodes of those tumultuous times.

By his own confession, has an obsession with military history.  Having read Modern History at Oxford, he served in the Army for 25 years, mostly in Northern Ireland, Uganda and Bosnia, before leaving to become the defence correspondent for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and then an MP.  But, in 2014 he returned to his first love – military history.

Widely travelled over many of the British Army’s most dramatic battlefields, he is credited with being the first Briton to return to the Crimean battlefields in 1993.  Since then, he has shared his experience and enthusiasm with many people in any number of extraordinary places!

Mercer specialises in the Seven Years’ and Napoleonic Wars, colonial warfare, the Crimean Campaign, the Indian Mutiny, Irish rebellions and the Italian Campaign of 1943 – 45.  He has written extensively on the Crimea and the Italy, had a trilogy of historical novels published as well as a litany of magazine articles.  With lively views on current affairs, he also writes a regular column for the Yorkshire Post.

Contact & Booking details

The cost is £10 per person and do contact james@classicbattlefieldtours.com if you are interested.

James Stewart-Smith
Classic Battlefield Tours
Box House
Lower Froyle
Nr Alton
GU34 4LN

 07814 586441