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During the Second World War, Wiltshire was one of the most militarised counties in Britain, and it is easy to understand why, when you consider that the whole of Salisbury Plain, the Army’s premier training ground, lies within its boundaries. But the story of ‘Wiltshire at War’ is not just about the Army, or training. It was here that weapons were developed, tactics were tried and tested, and operations planned and mounted. British, Commonwealth and American troops all made use of the varied facilities. And of course like every county, the civil population also played their part, working in the factories or fields, or belonging to an organization such as the Home Guard, or the ARP.
This DVD, which is illustrated by evocative archive film and photographs, begins with a visit to Salisbury Cathedral and explores a wide variety of locations throughout the county, such as the garrison towns of Warminster, Bulford and Tidworth; the RAF bases at Lyneham, Boscombe Down, Keevil, Blakehill Farm, Old Sarum and Hullavington; the important research establishment at Porton Down; aircraft production at Swindon, Blunsdon and Sevenhampton; the amazing subterranean world of Box; the remarkable story of Highworth’s secret contribution to the war effort; and towns which were heavily affected by the close proximity of the military, such as Devizes and Chippenham.
The story is enhanced throughout by the memories of people who remember those dark days when Wiltshire was at war.