Events & talks

Below you can find details of the latest guest speaker talks and events planned at East Boldre Village Hall. This historic building was built in 1917/18 as part of the Royal Flying Corps training airfield during WW1. It has a stunning stage, large hall, and various rooms including displays about the local airfields.

FRIDAY 17 MAY 2024 (EAST BOLDRE)

The New Forest Auxiliary Units: aka Churchill’s Secret Army

When tickets go on sale they will first be offered to our email subscribers.

The Auxiliary Units were specially trained and secret military patrols created by the British government during WW2 the aim of using irregular and guerrilla warfare in response to a possible invasion of the UK by Nazi Germany. Will Ward tells their story including his research into hidden hideouts some of which are still be to be discovered in the New Forest.


FRIDAY 14 JUNE 2024 (EAST BOLDRE)

SOE: The Secret Saboteurs of WW2

When tickets go on sale they will first be offered to our email subscribers.

The role of Special Operations Executive. A fascinating and secret unit tasked by Winston Churchill to “Set Europe Ablaze”. SOE agents demonstrated remarkable courage and resourcefulness in their guerrilla war, resulting in General D Eisenhower saying “…they played a very considerable part in our complete and final victory”. This talk will bring back to life the organisation, its Obstacles, Triumphs, Tricks & Tragedies.


SATURDAY 6 JUly 2024 (DIBDEN PURLIEU)

Sword Beach: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Forgotten Victory

When tickets go on sale they will first be offered to our email subscribers.

6th June 1944 saw the largest seaborne assault in human history: D-Day. The landings on the five Normandy beaches, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, will go down in legend as the first footsteps on the journey to end the war in northern Europe.

While much has been written about the operation as a whole, little detailed attention has been paid to the battle for Sword Beach itself, the easternmost of the amphibious attack areas. For the first time, historian and archaeologist Stephen Fisher puts the British landing under the spotlight and using previously unseen research, documents and personal testimonies pieces together the buildup, the day itself and its aftermath in such a way as to uniquely bring the operation to vivid life.

Following a massive air and naval bombardment that began before the sun had even risen, the stage was set for the first of tens of thousands of troops to come ashore on Sword that day. It was to be a day of triumph and tragedy as the Allies pushed forward to the key objective of Caen against German defenders who were, uniquely on D-Day, backed up by an armoured division.

Never before has this campaign been afforded such insightful and detailed scrutiny. Stephen Fisher brings his considerable knowledge and expertise to paint a thrilling picture of how the deep beachhead was established and pays tribute to the heroism and sacrifices that were made on that fateful day.


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Previous Events & Talks

2024
  • 19 April: Stoney Cross: From Gliders to Lightning Strikes (Simon Daniels)
  • 6 April: The Logistical Build-Up to D-Day (Chris Barrington Brown, repeated in Dibden Purlieu)
  • 16 March: The Logistical Build-Up to D-Day (Chris Barrington Brown)
  • 10 March: Needs Oar Point: A Story Rarely Told (Marc Heighway, repeated in Dibden Purlieu)
  • 16 February: Needs Oar Point: A Story Rarely Told (Marc Heighway)
  • 19 January: My Flying Boat War (Richard Hodgkinson)
2023
  • 15 December: History of RAF Beaulieu (Marc Heighway)
  • 17 November: The Jutland Survivor in Portsmouth Harbour (Stephen Fisher)
  • 20 October: History of RAF Beaulieu (Marc Heighway)
  • 15 September: Remember the Regulars (Chris Kolonko-Weet)
  • 16 June: An Evening on the Home Front (Dale Johnson, Marc Heighway, Pete Harrod, & John Wareham)
  • 19 May: Building Spitfires Without a Factory (Alan Matlock)
  • 21 April: Southampton: From Blitz to D-Day (Jake Simpkin)
  • 17 March: Calshot: The RNAS Years (Colin van Geffen)
  • 17 February: The Lumberjills: Britain’s Forgotten Army (Joanna Foat)
  • 20 January: Special Operations Executive & The Beaulieu Finishing School (Nick Saunders)
2022
  • 14 October: The Road to Victory: Preparing for D-Day on the South Coast (Stephen Fisher)
  • 2 to the 5 of June: RAF Beaulieu History Exhibition over 3 days