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Author: Duncan Parsons

SOFO Summer Shelter Competition! To celebrate our recently opened Anderson Shelter display (built with the support of our wonderful Crowdfunder backers!) we’re running a special competition this Summer – show us your own home-made air-raid shelters and we’ll award prizes to the best! Plus, we’ll feature submissions in an online gallery – so they’ll all be museum pieces! Here are a couple of examples of shelters crafted by the museum team’s…

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Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace, and the Oxfordshire Yeomanry Connection Guest blog by Douglas S. Russell, author of Winston S. Churchill: Soldier, The Military Life of a Gentleman at War (2005) From the time of the first Duke of Marlborough (1650–1722) each succeeding generation of Spencers, Churchills, and Marlboroughs was active in the military service of Great Britain, and Blenheim Palace has been a part of that tradition. Each duke from the first in…

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THE QUEEN’S OWN OXFORDSHIRE HUSSARS’ AND PRIVATE MOTOR CARS 1914-1915 The following excerpts, researched and compiled by Harry Staff, were all taken from The Oxfordshire Hussars in the Great War by Adrian Keith-Falconer (KF), and touch on the way private motorcars were brought over to France and used by officers for much of the war. KF was an officer who served with the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars/Oxfordshire Yeomanry during the…

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Children and Military Lives – Stories of Adventure, Family and Exile Exhibition – 2 June to 24 November 2022 The new exhibition will tell the stories of today’s service children (children of serving British Armed Forces personnel) and their experiences of living life in the military community, as well as stories of children who become victims of war, experiencing the effects of military conflict – from Second World War evacuees…

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Featured: The Great War POW Album and Pilot’s Log Book of Lt. Frederick Matthews Recently donated to the museum was an incredible collection of items relating to Frederick Matthews, often referred to as ‘Eric’, who served with the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars and later the Royal Flying Corps. Eric’s story is already featured in our Airpower display in the museum’s permanent exhibition space, alongside copies of images now part of…

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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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Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum
Park Street.
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