Saturday, 08 May 2021

British Modern Military History Society

THE next Zoom talk organised by the Woodcote-based British Modern Military History Society will take place on Tuesday, April 6 at 2pm.

It is called “Secrets and spies — how German spies lost the Battle of Britain” and the spreaker is Graham Randall.

With increasing interest in the history of the Second World War, so many intriguing stories are coming to light now.

One is how Nazi Germany’s spies failed to discover any worthwhile information about our radar systems, even sending a Zeppelin airship to travel up and down the east coast just four weeks before war was declared to try to find out what the large steel transmitter masts were doing.

The talk will be a fascinating insight into spies and spying and how so much effort was directed at the radar stations which played such a vital role in the Battle of Britain.

Graham’s father was trained in radar at Bawdsey on the Suffolk coast during the war before being posted overseas. The family connection to radar continued when Graham himself started his career at Marconi Radar designing defence systems.

With his retirement in 2015 after working in a global wealth management company based in London, Graham joined Bawdsey Radar and took on the role of project director leading the trustee team in the £1.8million restoration of the wartime transmitter block. He is now chairman of the trust.

Bawdsey Radar Group was formed by a group of locals in 2003 and was featured in the 2004 BBC programme Restoration, coming a creditable fourth.

In 2008 the group became the Bawdsey Radar Trust, a charity incorporated as a private limited company.

Its aims are to conserve the transmitter block and create a dedicated exhibition, educational facility and visitor attraction explaining how radar was developed and the central role that Bawdsey and radar played in the defence of Britain.

The trust was awarded a £1.4million Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a full conservation project in December 2015 and raised another £400,000 from sponsors such as Historic England, Garfield Weston and many local groups.

The transmitter block and new exhibition was formally re-opened by the Duke of Gloucester in July 2018 and has since won manyawards for the outstanding work on this unique heritage site.

Donations for this talk will help support the trust.

We shall continue a monthly Zoom talk and look to resume live meetings as soon as we can and it is deemed safe to do so.

Check out the schedule of talks and meetings for the 2021 season at

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