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LONDON 

BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britain, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you.  

 

Throughout its 2000 year history London has been the backdrop for battles such as Barnet (1471) and Brentford (1642) and the target for aerial battles of the world wars of the C.20th .  It is also home to many national and specialist military museums and preserved heritage covering land sea and air warfare
 


Events in London

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

Potters Bar and Cuffley Zepplins - WW1

Within the space of a couple of weeks the first two German dirigibles were shot down over NW London.  SL 11 was shot down over Cuffley by Lt Leefe Robinson and L31 captained by the Zeppelin captain Mathy was shot down over Potters Bar. These events were a turning point in the first german air war on London using airships.  This story and the legacy on the ground can be interpreted with the help of a guide.

Bentley Priory Museum 

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The Bentley Priory Museum is located in the former headquarters of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain of 1940. The building has been preserved to commemorate the service of the RAF. It includes a recreated ‘Filter Room’, an exact replica of the wartime operations room.  The Fighter Command filter room, along with the Group and Sector operations rooms all need to be seen to understand why the Raf won the Battle of Britain

RAF Northolt (1939-45) 

 RAF Northolt was a sector station and still is an  RAF airfield.  The station contains a reconstructed sector operations room as well as other historic buildings. The airfield was also the home of the 303 (Polish) Sqn RAF in the Battle of Britain. It can be visited by prior arrangement. Contact British battlefields for details  
info@britishbattlefields.com 

No 11 Group Command Bunker

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The No 11 Group Bunker Uxbridge was used by RAF Fighter command throughoiut the Second World War.  It is one of the most famous command posts in history. It was from here that the main air battles of the Battle of Britian were controlled. The plottign table is still laid out when it was at 11.15 Am on Sunday 15
September 1940 when Winston Churchill watched the battle from the gallery.   I unique place, which can be visited by groups with a
prior arrnagement, contact British Battlefields for details

 info@britishbattlefields.com

Runnymede Air Force Memorial

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The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves.  They served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth.  Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

Brooklands Aviaiton Museum 

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Brooklands is a historic site on the development of British miltiary aviation.  It was home to the Vickers aircraft factories and from where aircraft built by  Sopwith and then Hawker were tested and fl;own.  The Museum contains historic Wellington and Hawker Hurricane aircraft, a Vickers Vimy repleca and  as a collection of well as post war bomber and transport aircraft 

Battles of Brentford and Turnham Green 1642

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These battles, early in the Civil War, represent a defining moment in the development of democracy in England. They were the closest the royalists ever came to taking London, which would have won them the war. The king's duplicity before the battle of Brentford also made many in parliament realise that he would not negotiate a peaceful settlement and that conflict was unavoidable.

National Army Museum 

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The National Army Museum tells the story that the British Army played in the creation of the nation state of Great Britain, as we recognise it today. It houses collections of equipment uniforms art and interpretive displays covering the 500 years of history across the contents of the world.  Free entry

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The only registered battlefield in Greater London.  Here is where the Yorkists King Edward IV Edward and his brothers George, and Richard, (The future king Richard III) beat their Uncle Richard Neville Earl of Warwick "the Kingmaker".  It is a great story and makes a good day out. .

RAF Museum Hendon

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The RAF Museum London is on the site of Hendon Aerodrome and houses over 100 aircraft from around the world including some very early aircraft designs through to the latest modern day jets and military aircraft.   It is on the site of one of the historic airfields, serving as a base for night fighters, training and communications. The site includes the buildings of the Graham White aircraft factory and houses a fine archive. 

 The Royal Gunpowder Mills Museum

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A museum and poark on the grounds of the site where gunpoweder and other explosives manucatured from the C17th to the 20th

de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre

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This volunteer-run aviation museum in London Colney, Hertfordshire, England, was formerly known as the Mosquito Aircraft Museum. The collection is
based around the definitive prototype and restoration shops for the de Havilland Mosquito and also includes several examples of the de Havilland Vampire - the third operational jet aircraft in the world. There are dozens of aircraft on display or under restoration.

London War Memorials

London as the capital city of the UK, the mother country of the Commonwealth has a very rich monumnetla heritage of the war memorials of warfare from early times onwards. Hyde Park Corner is the focus for some of the major C20th War memorials to different services and corps as well as to different commonwealth countries and even animals.  There are also memorials in parks and across the parishes that make up Greater London and within its  many churches. 

Croydon WW2 Airfield WW1 and WW2

Croydon Airport was the main airport for London before it was replaced by Northolt Aerodrome, London Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. It had its origins in Beddington Aerodrome opened, around May 1915 for protection against the Zeppelin raids during the First World War. During WW2 it was a fighter base.  On 15 August 1940 Croydon Airport was attacked in the first major air-raid on the London area, which lead to a dramatic air battle overhead.  Salthough long since built over, the airfield retains its terminal building and the control tower is a visito centre.  

WW2 London Blitz Walks (WW1 and WW2)

London was the subject of aerial attack in both world wars.  The city carries the visible legacy of this bombardment in traces of battle damage, air raid shelters and AA defences. The stories of these events are captured in the  oral, photographic and documentary records and can be interpreted by a guide. It is possible to follow the stories of indivudal raisds as well as the impact on districts of the city.

RAF Kenley Fighter airfield WW2

The former RAF aeroideome at Kenley is thought to be the best preserved of all World War II RAF fighter stations, with the runway still in its original configuration. It is the most complete fighter airfield associated with the Battle of Britain to have survived. The airfield was the target of a sophisticated attack by the Luftwaffe on on the 18th August 1940 when attacked by a low level, high level and dive bombers on what has been described as the hardest day of the Battle of Britain.

The Cabinet War Rooms

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The Churchill War Rooms are part of the Imperial War Museum and consist of the original Cabinet War Rooms, the wartime bunker that sheltered Churchill and his government during the Blitz. Visitors  can explore the historic rooms to experience the secret history that lives on underground and find out more about those who worked underground as London was being bombed above them, This museum also contains the interactive Churchill Museum which tells the story of the life and legacy of Winston Churchill.

Whitehall Warriors

The area around Whitewhall includes many statues and memorials to the leaders who shaped Britaih's past.  A walk past these is a chance to hear about their  lives and deeds.

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The Imperial War Musem is a partially government funded museum with five sites, dedicated to understanding of the history of modern war and 'wartime experience. It is a museum of warfare post 1900, and its imapct on Britian and the Commeonwelath. Highlights of the Kennington site are the VC gallery housing the Ashcroft collection of  Vcs and Gcs. The musuem is currently closed pending redevelopment for for the centenary of the First World War. It also houses a holocaust exhibition and a related gallery linked to post Ww2 genocide.  Many of the larger exhibiots are being relocated to other IWM sites.

Royal Hospital Chelsea

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The Royal Hospital Chelsea, was founded in 1682 by King Charles II to provide soldiers with a fitting home in their retirement. It still continues to serve its original purpose into the 21st Century.   The Christopher Wren designed chapel and the pensioners dining room are open to visitors. The dining hall contains standards captured from the French Dutch and US armies. 

The HAC and the Trained Bands of London

The Honourable Artillery Company is one of the oldest military institutions in the UK.  It was granted a charter by King Henry VIII in1537 to provide the officers for the Trained Bands of London. Despite being formed originally to train yeoman archers, the HAC still provides a serving regiment for the British Army and well as performing ceremonial duties in the City of London .  It occupies a magnificent location on City Road. It houses a small but excellent museum tracing the part the HAC has played.. The museum can be visited by prior arrangement.

Royal Armouries in HM Tower of London

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Royal Armouries is the United Kingdom’s National Museum of Arms and Armour, including artillery. The commection in the HM Tower of London contains some of the highlights from the collction organised into two major dispalys telling the story of the Tower in exercising power and the “Line of kings” a C21st redisplay of the oldest visitor attraction in the world. See the 21st century re-display. This is displayed in the White Tower of the Tower of London, a fortification with historicf as well as symbolic significance.

RAF Hornchurch Airfield

Royal Air Force Station Hornchurch was an airfield in the parish of Hornchurch, Essex (now the London Borough of Havering in Greater London), located to the southeast of Romford. The airfield was known as Sutton's Farm during the First World War.  It was a fighter station on both world wars.  Although redeveloped, as a housing estate it is still possible to find the pillboxes, command bunkers and gun positions, together with the largest number of surviving Tett Turrets in England.   RAF Hornchurch artefacts and memorabilia are housed in the Purfleet Heritage & Military Centre, and in a local pub, popular with servicemen from the airfield

London's Navy

The River Thames is lined with naval heritage that can be unlocked with some study or a knowledgeable guide.  There are several things to see besides the Imperial War Museum’s WW2 Cruiser HMS Belfast. The biggest naval campaigns of the World Wars were the war against the U Boats threatening Britain’s maritime supply routes.  HMS President, moored on the Thames was originally designed that could be used as a decoy ship, but served as a convoy escort in WW1.  HQ Ship Wellington is now the home of the worshipful company of master mariners, but in WW2 as HMS Wellington sailed 250,000 miles escorting covoys.  The Merchant Marine Memorial on Tower Hill contains the names of members of the merchant marine who lost their lives in the world wars.

Docklands in the World Wars 

The Museum of London Docklands displays the Port and River collection. From Roman settlement to the development of Canary Wharf, this 200 year old warehouse reveals the long history of the capital as a port through stories of trade, migration and commerce. - This includes the story of the docklands during WW2 , the main military target of the German Blitz  as well as the construction site for part so the mulberry harbour that the Allies took to Normandy. 

Sieges of the City of London

London has itself been a battlefield on many occasions.  The Vikings tried to storm London Bridge. In 1471 during the Wars of the Roses the Lancastrians attacked the Yorkist held city. Their fleet duelling the cannons in the Tower of London and the armies battling outside Aldgate. The English Ciivl War defences erected by parliament can still be traced in parks.

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“Firepower” the Royal Artillery Museum is based in Woolwich on the site of the Royal Arsenal.    There has been an artillery museum open to the public in Woolwich since 4 May 1820. This museums tells the story of the Royal Artillery which played a big part in every operation mounted by the British army and many of those of the other services. The exhibition includes artillery equipment from the last 500 years as well as displays on the men and women who served the guns.  The Royal Artillery were a major part of the AA defences of London and it is possible to find traces of these all over Great London.  The memorial to the Royal Artillery war dead from WW1 is worth a visit. 

The Fusiliers Museum 

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The Fusilier Museum based in HM Tower of London tells the story of a British infantry regiment, raised at the Tower of London in 1685. The museum follows the Regiment from its formation to the present day. The story is told through the fascinating personal experiences of individual Officers and Soldiers and draws on the museum’s rich archive of war diaries and personal letters as well as its diverse collection.

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