A SCRAPBOOK of top secret orders, letters and hand drawn maps by a war-time Home Guard commander has revealed rare insights into the real ‘Dad’s Army’ of the New Forest.
The scrapbook, compiled by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Morgan Crofton, has been brought to light by his son, Major Edward Crofton, as part of the New Forest Remembers World War II Project run by the New Forest National Park Authority.
It contains secret defence plans and orders showing how the 9th (Forest) and 28th (Bay) Battalion would have harassed and hindered an invading German force, including machine gun posts, tank traps, road blocks, snipers and minefield.
One of the book’s most detailed plans is a hand- drawn map showing how the picturesque village of Beaulieu was turned into a defensive garrison of 44 men, five pillboxes, roadblocks and numerous firing positions from local buildings such as the Montagu Arms and a loopholed wall at Beaulieu Abbey.
Some remains can still be seen today, including four of five bunkers.
For more information on the Crofton scrapbook and the New Forest during World War II, visit the interactive portal at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/ wwii.