Apr 182015

Joan Welborn 2 - Coleshill 2015On 11th April former ATS Cpl Joan Welborn returned to GHQ Coleshill for the first time in 72 years.

Joan was guided around the site by Bill Ashby, our Coleshill Researcher.

Joan arrived at Coleshill on May 22st 1943 and worked in the orderly room which was located on the first floor of the Stable Block above the stables.

Joan worked for Camp Commandant, Captain Benson who had an office nearby.  Although she had electricity her office was very cold and she used to type wearing woollen mitts.

We took her into the stable block to find her office.

Joan Welborn - Coleshill 2015

We wanted to take a photograph of Joan by the same gates she stood by in this picture with her colleagues.

Bill then showed Joan the replica Operational Base and she was brave enough to venture inside where she was met by National Trust Volunteer Roger Green.

Joan is one of only a few Coleshill staff members to return to the site after travelling down from Leeds.

Our thanks go to her and her family for a great day.

You can read more about Joan here. 

See a whole gallery of images of the trip here. 

May 302014

You can now take a tour of the newish replica Operational Base at GHQ Coleshill thanks to our new video with CART researcher Bill Ashby.

The OB was built thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is a replica of the existing wartime Operational Base elsewhere on the Estate, that needs protecting.

It has mainly been constructed by volunteers with Coleshill local Roger Green now conducting many of the tours.

See more here

Mar 232014

We are very sad to say that Ted Jefferies has passed away. He left us on Friday 21st March at his home in Highworth.

Ted was a Boy Scout during WW2. Too young to enlist, his war was spent in the rural market town of Highworth.

Ted was recruited to his role as a secret messenger for the Auxiliaries. Too young to sign the Official Secrets Act, he had to give the Scout’s oath as he was sworn to secrecy. As a Boy Scout, he was unlikely to attract suspicion or attention from the invading Nazis, but his uniform was easily identifiable by those agents who trained at Coleshill.

On 25.3.14 we spoke to BBC Wiltshire about Ted. Here the short interview here

Read about Ted’s amazing wartime role here

Aug 302013

Swindon Heritage Magazine

This month Graham Carter from Swindon Heritage Magazine has written a great article about Coleshill and the Swindon connection to Auxiliary Units.

The two page spread features images of the new replica Operational Base at Coleshill and Graham was guided around by dedicated National Trust researcher Roger Green.

A hard copy of the article can be seen here.

Jan 222010

We are pleased to say our second war talk The History Of The Auxiliary Unit will be given by Bill King on May 12th at 7pm in Highworth.

Bill has conducted extensive research on the role of the British Resistance Organisation (Auxiliary Units) and has contributed to the book ‘With Britain in Mortal Danger’ published in December 2002.

Bill has appeared in the Television programmes ‘History Mysteries’ on BBC2 and the Channel 4 series ‘Dads Secret Army’. In addition to these activities Bill has given talks on Auxiliary Units to interest societies throughout Wiltshire and the south. Bill is married with two grown-up daughters and lives near Swindon on the Wiltshire / Gloucestershire border.

To book tickets for this talk please go to our events page