01993 810 210

Year: 2021

Operation Pig Ark – Uncovering an Anderson Shelter in 2019 In 2019 members of the SOFO Museum Team collected an Anderson shelter roof from a farm in Deddington, Oxfordshire, where it had been repurposed into a pig ark. The metal was attached to large wooden blocks which were anchored to the ground, so our team had to carefully prise the metal away from the wood to free it. The roof was in several parts…

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How You Can Help Build a Second World War Air-Raid Shelter At SOFO we tell stories of everyone affected by war in the county of Oxfordshire; from the soldier on the front line to ordinary families on the home front. Our small but dedicated team of staff and volunteers work hard to tell these stories of conflict and county in many different ways, including museum displays and learning sessions. Our latest…

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Refugee Week 14-20 June 2021 ‘Gunner Gerin: Refugee and Liberator’ How did a Jewish Polish refugee come to be one of the liberators of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945? A brief mention in a soldier’s war-time diary led Harry Staff, a volunteer researcher with the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, to track down a remarkable story. Gunner Henry Gerin was formerly Henryk Bochynski. Born 1905 in Poland he arrived in…

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Bergen Belsen – Beyond May 1945 Nic Vanderpeet (SOFO Learning and Outreach Officer) Arthur Tyler, second left, with other men of the 63rd Anti-Tank Regiment (Oxfordshire Yeomanry), near Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, 1945. The survivors of Bergen Belsen would continue to live in camps after their liberation in April 1945. Camps were established to house Displaced Persons (DPs). Displaced persons were those who had been deported or sent as forced labour to…

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Letter from Major John Howard in Normandy, 1944 These brief diary-style letters from Major John Howard DSO were published in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Quarterly Journal November 1944 and cover his experiences in the months following the successful operation to capture of the Caen Canal and Orne River bridges which he led. In the two brief entries he describes everything from his experience of landing to the quality of his…

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Star Objects – Waterloo OBLI:5356 – unattributed print of an Officer of the 52nd Foot c.1815   To get us prepared for our upcoming Waterloo lecture with historian Gareth Glover, we will be looking at a few of the Waterloo-era objects from our archive. In this post we will look at the uniform of an Officer of the 52nd.   OBLI:5803 – 52nd Officer’s shako c.1815   This shako was…

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Day by Day: A 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Diary, June 1944 After individual accounts from officers in our last two Pegasus Stories, this time we’re sharing a broader regimental account which covers the men’s experiences day by day, and at times hour by hour, following their gliderborne arrival on 6th June 1944. Building on details from the last two accounts we posted, we hear more about the…

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Pegasus Stories: Captain Priday’s Account As anyone watching The Pegasus Bridge Story will know, five of the six gliders that made up the ‘coup de main’ party tasked with capturing the Orne River and Caen Canal landed remarkably close to their objective, and soon after had successfully taken them both. However one landed about 8 miles off course at another bridge near Varaville, over a different river – the Dives. The…

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Pegasus Stories Following the success of The Pegasus Bridge Story, a  Lockdown Lecture produced in co-operation between the Army Flying Museum and Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, we’re posting a series of blogs which include accounts of the events surrounding D-Day and the capture of the bridges from individuals involved – many written in the months that followed. In this first Pegasus Story is an account of Parachute operations in the early…

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The Pegasus Bridge Story – SOFO Thanks You After a few unfortunate technical issues meant we initially had to reschedule what would be our first online talk, the Pegasus Bridge Story succesfully broadcast to an audience of over 800 viewers from 7pm on Thursday 21st January and many, many, more watching the archived video of the lecture over the following days. While the talk was the first in what we…

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