01993 810 210

Author: Duncan Parsons

An incredible story from the SOFO Museum Archives, Captain J Shaw’s account of how he became a Great War POW and his involvement in a number of escape attempts was originally published in three instalments in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry’s Regimental Journal from September 1931 to January 1932. A few years later, in March 1939, the Journal would also publish a number of Shaw’s sketches of the tunnel which he…

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Osmond Bartle Wordsworth – An Unknown Officer killed during the Great War has now been identified as collateral descendent of poet William Wordsworth In late October, volunteers at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock received good news after years of research that took them on a journey from a garden in Northern France to across the United Kingdom, Australia, The United States of America, Ireland, Canada -and back to the battlefields…

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Oral Histories – Air Raids, Anderson Shelters and Evacuation Since SOFO began we haven’t just collected objects and records. Volunteers have helped us record the memories of Oxfordshire people affected by historic conflicts in the form of recorded oral history interviews. You can hear some of these in use in the museum’s galleries when you visit (such as in our Liberation of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Airpower and D-Day displays), and…

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SOFO Museum’s Reminiscence Pod A successfully funded project – with help from the local community! With support from West Oxfordshire District Council and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, SOFO installed a Reminiscence Pod in the main gallery in 2019. The pod was unveiled during a special Collections Day event held at the museum on 2 November 2019, with content developed and curated by our Collections Manager Peggy, along with…

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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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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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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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Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
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