Military History Tours On Tour - Bomber Command (RAAF in the UK) 19 July 2014
This was the first of our two touring days around Salisbury, after a very late arrival last night from Wolverhampton. But all were ready to go as this was a very different day than yesterday for we visited a private home for morning tea. On the way we stopped at the Fovant Regimental Badges that were depicted on the hillside cut out of the clay and visible for miles.
Kevin Byrne at Zeals has converted the control tower at the old Zeals Airfield into a lovely home and he has a very lovely location with views across the old airfield to the trees beyond. Due to his foresight and efforts this small part of the Battle of Britain will remain as a testament to those who flew from RAF Zeals. The tower is in the middle of his ½ an acre (2000m2) and has positioned a lovely, huge Gum Tree that provides a shaded position during these very hot days.
We arrived at 1015, in pouring rain to be met by Sam and Kevin and their friends Theresa and Gavin. Kevin showed us around his home and we went upstairs to his lounge, with its wonderful views across the old grass strip. Much discussion took place concerning the wartime use of the airfield until we adjourned to the downstairs where Sam had prepared home cooked cakes for our visit. The tea, coffee and beautiful cakes were enjoyed by all and it was sad to leave such a friendly welcome, but leave we must to continue our programme.
We said our farewells and headed to Sutton Veny. Sutton Veny was the next location that we visited and behind the church is a Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery that has mostly Australians interred here. There are also many of them including Matron Walker, the Matron of the hospital here, who succumbed to the Spanish flu in 1919. In this area during the First World War there were a number of hospitals and there was a train line nearby that allowed the wounded to be transported close to the hospitals in relative comfort after their journey from the front.
On our way to Middle Wallop, our next museum stop, we somehow were attracted to this small village of Corton and behold we found a lovely Pub. The Dove Inn nestled in this little dead end off road. We ordered drinks while we decided on our lunch and met two locals, Phil and Carol and their two dogs, Flora and Finn. There was also a locally produced beer that we tasted, just to check the quality of the local beer and we found it very acceptable.
An excellent find for lunch and after lunch we headed over to our Museum stop at Middle Wallop which houses the Army Flying Museum and an excellent display it has comprising the history of the Army Flying Corps from 1910 until the present with updated displays on Iraq.
The sun finally came out as we headed back to Salisbury for dinner.