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North Oxfordshire and Cotswolds Area Report Autumn 2012.

In April we had a marvellous talk from Captain Peter Way (Kings Own Rifles) who spoke about his experiences in Italy at the end of the war. Some of his reminiscences were quite amusing. Just after VE Day he was ordered to take his platoon to secure a dam over the border from Italy into Yugoslavia. Here he came between an SS division who wanted to surrender to the British and a large group of partisans who wanted to massacre them (one SS officer volunteered to join the British army so he could go on to fight the Japanese). Caught in between these two hostile forces a German staff car pulled up and the General in the back uttered the immortal words “take me to your leader”. Faced with this explosive situation Captain Way turned to his second in command, said “carry on Sergeant” and then got into the staff car which drove off. As he went back to Headquarters Captain Way pondered whether he had done the right thing. At that point a German staff officer in the back of the car turned to him and uttered in perfect English the following words which Captain Way said would remain with him forever – “Are you familiar with the Earl of Chichester?” When Captain Way returned some hours later on he found that his Sergeant had diffused the situation, the SS Division had surrendered to the platoon, but the Partisans had taken all of the German vehicles and weapons. These were probably the same weapons that turned up in Yugoslavia a few years back.

We had another interesting speaker at our May meeting. This was David Steadman from Bletchley park who came to talk about the Enigma machine and to help explain how it worked he brought an original one along with him. This really was a very interesting talk and several members now have hands on experience on how to send and receive messages on Enigma.

As we are all quite aware the weather has been rather changeable and this has affected some shows through curtailment or cancellation. We are quite a hardy lot in the Cotswolds however and try not to let this put us off. Despite atrocious conditions ten vehicles made it to the US base at RAF Croughton for the dedication of the Type “C” fighter pens which have obtained listed building status. A repeat visit was made to RAF Croughton on the 29 June this time with 8 vehicles to help the base celebrate 4th of July. A very full day of entertainment was provided and Dave Bayliss produced the largest stars and stripes flag anybody had ever seen. We had a good turnout at Evesham which was an outstanding event, so well done to everyone involved in organising it. The weather was a bit unsettled but did not detract from our enjoyment of the weekend.

On 19th May Hook Norton brewery had their open day and asked for some vehicles to make an appearance. On the day before we had just 4 volunteers. The weather did not look very promising and I could understand why no one was that excited in coming. I sent out a quick reminder to everyone and then on the day we had 13 vehicles arrive. The brewery were very pleased and it was a great social event with cheap beer as well. The highlight of the day was watching John drive Ians K5 out of the steep yard and then manoeuvre carefully through the very cramped entrance. I very much enjoyed observing his skilful control of the clutch and steering and he didn’t hit a thing as he left. Well done John! This will all be good practice for you now you are making the jump to 4 wheels.

The Area has acquired two new Jeeps. Michael has renewed his acquaintance with one of these fine vehicles (after a gap of about 50 years isn’t it Michael?) by importing a Ford scripted one and trailer from the USA. This one carrys the markings “Military Government Team Iberaki” which made me run to google to discover that it is in Japan. Post war army of occupation in Japan markings are not very common on military vehicles in the Cotswolds. New member Peter Smith has inherited a Jeep and I look forward to seeing it soon (as it is literally just down the road from me). Nathan has acquired a much neglected Ferret and with a little effort got the engine running, but has got just about everything else left to fix. John Small has made the jump from 2 wheels to 4 by buying a WOT2 for restoration. I understand that the engine has already been rebuilt and the chassis has been restored. As for the rest of it, well I think that will be keeping John entertained for more than just a few weekends.

If anybody who is not an area member but would like to be kept up to date with local events etc we have an up to date list of upcoming events on our new website (www.oxcot-mvt.org). If you would like to be added to our distribution list please send me an e-mail and I will keep you up to date of everything which is happening in North Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Even if you are not a local member you would be welcome to come along.


Summer 2012 Newsletter
Spring 2012 Newsletter
Winter 2011 Newsletter
Autumn 2011 Newsletter
Summer 2011 Newsletter
Spring 2011 Newsletter
Winter 2010 Newsletter
Autumn 2010 Newsletter
Summer 2010 Newsletter
Spring 2010 Newsletter
Winter 2009 Newsletter
Autumn 2009 Newsletter
Summer 2009 Newsletter

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