Located immediately to the south of London, between the capital and the English Channel, Surrey has long played a significant part in the defence of the nation. During the Civil War, Surrey was firmly on the side of the Parliamentarians. From their base in Farnham Castle, they controlled the vital Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, near Guildford. The threat to the country during the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars led to the construction of a line of semaphore signalling stations through Surrey to provide a fast communication link between London and Portsmouth. The line was replaced in 1822 by semaphore towers, some still existing today. In the late 19th century a 72-mile ring of fortified positions was established from Guildford through Surrey towards Kent and Essex, known as the London Defence Positions. In the brutal World War 1 The Queen's Royal West Surrey and the East Surrey Regiment lost over 13,000 men between them. On the first day of the battle of the Somme troops from the 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment were waiting for the signal to go over the top. To encourage his men, Captain W.P. `Billie' Nevill provided them with footballs which they kicked as they made their way across no-man's land. Captain Nevill was killed but his men went on to capture the enemy trenches. During World War 2 Surrey was home to several RAF fighter squadrons. Due to its proximity to London, Surrey residents were to suffer at the hands of the German Luftwaffe during the blitz. Parts of Surrey, together with Kent and Sussex, became known as `Bomb Alley', with Croydon suffering more damage than any other district during Hitler's flying bomb campaign. This book provides a fascinating insight into the events, people and places that are Surrey's Military Heritage.
Product code: BYJKA
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Dimensions: 16.6cm x 23.4cm
Publish date: 15/07/2019
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