It was one of the most remarkable stories of World War Two.

The anonymous civil servant from Bournemouth who made two journeys in 1938 to meet the man was who terrifying Europe and would soon start a global conflict.

The senior Whitehall official tasked with talking to Adolf Hitler by Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain was Sir Horace Wilson.

Wilson worked in the Ministry of Labour and was more used to tough bargaining with the trade unions.

He later admitted to thinking as he ascended the mountain to reach Hitler’s Alpine retreat at Berchtesgaden on the Obersalzburg: “I wonder if we will come out of this alive.”

He said of Hitler: “I wasn’t very impressed with his uniform. He looked like a draper’s assistant.”

This is one of the many fascinating stories of the war featured in the new publication Victory, commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day next Friday, May 8.

Through the eyes of local people, civilians and military personnel, Victory tells the story of the conflict across Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire from its beginnings in 1938 to ultimate triumph in 1945.

The incredible story of how hundreds of Spitfires were manufactured in the back streets of Salisbury after the main production line in Southampton was bombed by the Luftwaffe.

There are graphic first-hand accounts of how both Bournemouth and Southampton were attacked from the air at various points in the war, and the devastating consequences.

There is also the fascinating story of how the Germans drew up a detailed invasion plan along the Dorset and Hampshire coastline, a dossier compiled in the summer of 1940, and the extraordinary tale of Dorothy O’Grady, the Isle of Wight housewife who was unmasked as an agent of the Third Reich.

Far from being a simple seaside landlady, she was a highly skilled spy.

Victory features the key episodes in the war with contributions from those took part in interviews conducted in the early 2000s. They include the Battle of Britain, the campaign in the Far East, Arnhem and of course D Day.

The south coast of England, including Hampshire and Dorset was the springboard was Operation Overlord, the beginning of the end of World War Two.

And fittingly both the Hampshire Regiment and the Dorset Regiment played a key role in the Normandy Landings.

One of the most moving accounts featured in this historic record of the war comes from medic Ken Knight of the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was one of the first men through the gates at the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

There are many more stories in the 136-page Victory publication along with galleries of pictures from VE Day parties in 1945.

Victory is on sale in the shops at £4.95 or available online through