MP for North Swindon

Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP Visits Coleshill - A Training Base For 'Churchill's Secret Army'


Tom Sykes, Coleshill Auxiliary Research Unit & Justin Tomlinson MP

Justin Tomlinson MP visited the vital historical project that’s underway at Coleshill near Highworth, where some very exciting discoveries are being made.

The area was used during the war as a training base for ‘Churchill’s Secret Army’. Ordinary civilians were taught sabotage tactics to be used in the event of a German invasion. They would melt back into their communities undercover, and then use their new-found skills to wreak havoc and undermine the occupying forces.

The project was so hush-hush that many members of the auxiliary units, to give them their proper name, took their secrets to the grave. Only now are a group of dedicated volunteers uncovering the truth, with archaeologists finding underground bunkers and other historical remains around the village.

Highworth was central to the whole project, with the fabled postmistress Mabel Stranks being the gatekeeper to Coleshill.
My father and my grandfather before him were both history teachers, so I’ve caught the bug. I found this fascinating, and look forward to working with Tom Sykes and his group, CART, to seek proper recognition for the brave people involved in this remarkable story.

Further information on this can be seen on the excellent website:



Font Size: Larger | Smaller | Reset