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Books & Reviews

New Book: The Air Power Delusion

The British Air Power Delusion 1906-1941 Neil Datson In his autobiography The Central Blue Sir John Slessor, the Chief of Air Staff 1950-1952, wrote of the last two years before the outbreak of World War II when he was Director of Plans at the Air Ministry. In that office he

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The War of The Stray Dog
Books & Reviews

New Book: The War of The Stray Dog

Nick’s book is available on Amazon – click above to purchase your copy. The War of The Stray Dog Nick Brazil Throughout history, people have started wars for the strangest of reasons. Whether it is a trashed pastry shop in Mexico City, an ear lopped off a sea captain in The

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BMMHS Virtual Talks

In June, we ran a Pilot BMMHS Zoom talk to a restricted number of participants to investigate the demand for on-line BMMHS Talks and make sure that we all felt comfortable with the technology. Following the success of the pilot,  we have rolled out a programme of BMMHS Zoom Talks starting in August, with 2 talks a month until the end of 2020, and one Zoom talk a month after that when we hope also to resume talks in the Woodcote Village Hall.

Pilot BMMHS Zoom Talks ​

BMMHS Zoom First Pilot Talk - Airborne Padres of WW2

This afternoon talk took place on Tuesday 23rd June.  Jerry Cockeram opened with an update on BMMHS during the lockdown and also the progress of Operation Bookworm.

Then Linda Parker gave an interesting talk on Airborne Padres in the Second World War which was well received by the audience of 27 people.  It was nice to see some familiar faces and some new ones too and there was also an interesting Q&A session at the end. The talk went well with only a few minor technical glitches, which we are working to overcome.  Feedback from members on the “Zoom” was enthusiastic and appreciative, with most people willing to make a donation or contribution towards the cost of future Zoom talks. 

BMMHS Virtual Talks

Click above for the BMMHS Zoom Talks Schedule

Nearer to God
Airborne Padres in WW2

BMMHS Zoom Second Pilot Talk - Ice Stations to Action Stations

Ice Stations to Action Stations by Linda Parker.

This talk tells the story of the “curious little war” that took place on the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard 1941-1945. The island of Spitsbergen was the site of confrontation between the allies and Germany as the weather stations both sides attempted to maintain there were strategically important for the course of the war in Europe, Including D day.

The men involved on both sides had been prominent polar explorers in the interwar years, and Alexander ‘Sandy’ Glen in particular used the skills he had acquired in his pre-war exploration of the archipelago in the game of cat and mouse that took place as each side sought to obtain the advantage of obtaining regular weather forecasts and knowledge of Atlantic and Arctic conditions.

Ice stations to Action Stations
Ice Stations to Action Stations

Bomber Command Association in Australia Newsletter

BCCA Newsletter Autumn 2020

Click on the Halifax to see PDF contents

Linda Daily Mirror Great Escape


HMS Queen Elizabeth Freedom of Entry Parade Wantage
Toc H play

BMMHS Visit to the Battle of Britain Bunker - Uxbridge

Thursday 13th February 2020

The BMMHS had a successful visit yesterday to the Battle of Britain Bunker the former underground operations room used by No 11 Group Fighter Command RAF during WW2. Fighter aircraft operations were controlled from here throughout the war but most noteably during the Battle of Britain and on D-Day. There is also a new visitors centre opened in March 2018. The tour guide Chris Leworthy was excellent and the day was enjoyed by all. A highly recommended place to visit.


Battle of Britain Bunker

BMMHS Meeting Weds 8th April 2020

Woodcote Village Hall Refurbishment

The Main Hall, will be redecorated at the time of this April talk by Gary Sheffield.  Gary’s talk will go ahead in the next door Function Room.  However this has halved our capacity to 50 people for this one talk and all seats have now been reserved.   Apologies to those who had hoped to attend.   Normal service in the refurbished Main Hall will resume in May for all future talks.

Gary Sheffield Amateur Soldiers
BMMHS Education Initiative
If you can help us in this area please contact us via

BMMHS Announces Schools & Colleges Initiative - November 2019

BMMHS is pleased to announce that we have appointed Linda Parker as our Schools Liaison Officer. Linda’s role now includes a focus on establishing links with local schools and colleges with a view to broadening our audiences into a younger generation.

Please if you can provide us with contacts and advice in this area then contact us via 

For more details on Helen Fry's talk click on the image
For more details on Helen Fry's talk click on the image

We are now moving into the larger Main Hall, in Woodcote Village Hall.

Our previous talks have been sold out but thanks to the help from both Jenny & the Yoga team, we are now moving into the Larger Main Hall, in Woodcote Village Hall.

In order to secure a seat for future events, please contact us on and we will confirm availability. 

Memorial service for 75th anniversary of the loss of Halifax VII, NP681 RCAF that crashed at Newnham Manor Farm, Crowmarsh Gifford.

On Monday 9th September 2019 a memorial service was held in Crowmarsh, close to where the aircraft crashed on the 75th anniversary of the event. The memorial service was attended by personnel from RAF Benson including Group Captain Adam Wardrope DFC  and the RAF Chaplain Matt Stevens together with representatives from the Royal British Legion and the local community.
Wing Commander (Ret) Jim Wright DFC, former navigator with the Bomber Command Pathfinder Force and veteran of 44 wartime operations laid a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Crowmarsh and the Bomber Command Association.

Click here for further details

HMS Royal Oak Commemorative Services in Wantage

Wantage & the sinking of HMS Royal Oak
For more details click on image of HMS Royal Oak

On Monday 14th October 2019, Wantage held Two Services of Remembrance commemorating the first casualties of the Second World War from the town . 

BMMHS is delighted to announce that 3 more high quality talks have been confirmed for 2020

BMMHS is delighted to announce that 3 more high quality talks have been confirmed for 2020, on top of those already on the published schedule.
March 11th 2020, historian and researcher specialising in the Cold War, Bill Pyke will give a talk on distinguished airman and Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Slessor – An unsung Cold War Strategist and his role as the architect of British Airborne Nuclear Deterrence.
 May 13th 2020, historian and writer, Robin Brodhurst will give a talk on the Battle of the Atlantic  – how the allies fought the U Boat threat in WW2.
September 9th 2020, author, broadcaster and aviation historian, Paul Beaver will give a talk on Taranto, the sinking of the Italian fleet in WW2.
Other BMMHS Events are being planned including talks on the Air Transport Auxiliary and the Falklands War.

Watch this space!   

Taranto the sinking of the Italian fleet in World war Two

Bomber Command Association in Australia Newsletter

BCCA Newsletter Winter 2019

BCAA 71 Spring 2019

Click on Lancaster to see PDF contents

The Wooden World - Life in Nelson's navy - A Talk by Philip K Allan

An excellent talk followed by a book signing by naval author, Philip K Allan, author of the Alexander Clay series.  Following a lifetime’s love of the wooden warships of the Napoleonic era, Philip took a packed house through a fascinating presentation of what it was like to live and work in the navies of the day. 

Click for the meeting summary

Chalke Valley History Festival 24th - 30th June 2019 (Near Salisbury)

Great day out at the Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury. Wide range of things to do and see ranging from brewing medieval beer, civil war canon and muskets, Sherman tanks to tapping out Morse code at the Royal Signals museum tent. Lots of interesting talks across hundreds of years of British history.. listened to two fascinating talks on Tedder and the Battle of the River Plate. Definitely worth a visit.. free entry and you only pay for the talks.
Chalke Valley History Festival
Author and naval historian Peter Hore talking about the Battle of the River Plate where heavily out gunned British cruisers - Exeter, Achilles and Ajax - forced the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee into the River Plate estuary off Montivideo where she was scuttled.
Paul Beaver and Ed Stringer discuss the life and career of Marshall of the RAF Arthur Tedder, who was appointed deputy to General Eisenower for the build up and execution of the DDay landings. He worked very hard to ensure cooperation between the British and US senior commanders.

BMMHS Visit to D-Day Museum in Portsmouth 23rd May 2019. The first trip organised by BMMHS.​

Yesterday saw the first trip organised by BMMHS. An excellent day out to the DDay museum at Portsmouth just a few days before the 75th
anniversary. Much improved and modernised museum with plenty to see and learn about. Gave a real perspective on the scale of the challenge , and the bravery of so many men and woman. 
Great place to go for adults and children. Also enough time to stroll along the front in glorious sunshine to see the impressive Naval Memorial and to see the plaque to the Cockleshell Heroes.
Many thanks to Nigel and Linda for organising the day and to Phil for doing the driving.

BMMHS Inagural Meeting: The Real Dad’s Army; The role and training of British Auxiliary Units in World War 2.

Last night saw the first event of the BMMHS, with a fascinating talk by local historian Bill King, assisted by his wife Flora, on how Britain intended to repel a German invasion in 1940 through the use of ‘underground’ resistance fighters.

Previous Meetings

Click on Unit Badge for meeting details

Bomber Command Association in Australia

BCCA Newsletter Winter 2019

Click on Image to see PDF contents

Happy 98th Birthday Royal Australian Air Force

On 31 March 1921, the RAAF was formed as an independent service from the Army, making it the second-oldest air force in the world.

The RAAF has its origins in the Australian Flying Corps, which served in the Middle East and European theatres during the First World War.

BMMHS Announced at WFA TVP Branch Meeting

Thank you to Barbara Taylor of The Western Front Association for kindly announcing the formation of the British Modern Military History Society to members at the Thames Valley Branch meeting on Thursday 28th March 2019.