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Commemoration of SOE's Contribution to VE Day

Within the bounds of the government's lockdown and social distancing guidelines, the Royal British Legion was able to arrange commemorative ceremonies at 11 a.m. on 8th May 2020 to commemorate VE Day.

To mark, in a limited and local way, SOE's contribution to Victory in Europe, SWW2LN Trustee Paul McCue attended the RBL ceremony in his home village of Liss in Hampshire which has a number of SOE connections, not least being STS 3, Stodham Park on the edge of the community. Paul then went on to Stodham Park's main entrance for a photograph and a moment's reflexion by the River Rother which runs through the Park's grounds. The Park is a private property, but a popular and scenic trail passes its boundary, the photograph shows wild garlic proliferating along the river bank, a beautiful spot and a fitting place to remember the Norwegians, Danes, Americans, Germans, Poles, Russians and other trainees who passed through STS 3.

Stodham Park is one of the least-known Special Training Schools of SOE. It started as a depot school for Norwegians and Danes, but later welcomed many other nationalities as a Foreign Weapons school and as the Students' Assessment Board for Americans applying to join the Jedburgh teams. The early Norwegians at Stodham Park included those who took park in the famous GUNNERSIDE raid on the Norsk Hydro heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway, pictured here in 1935 and also by Jonathan Rush, Friend of The SWW2LN who visited the site in 2018. The raid was immortalised in the film 'The Heroes of Telemark'.

Photo credits: A and P McCue and J Rush.

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