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Wartime heritage

Few people realise the important role that the New Forest played in both World Wars. Its strategic location on the south coast meant that the New Forest was crucial in a range of operations and was home to a wide range of airfields, camps and installations. While some of these are still visible today, many have been hidden by soil and vegetation.

With the start of World War I in 1914, thousands of British troops were recalled from across the Empire and the New Forest was used to accommodate them near to the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton.

Little survives today of the camps, hospitals and training areas to remind us of the role the New Forest played during the Great War.

Much more remains of the New Forest’s World War Two infrastructure. This includes airfields, bomb test ranges and D-Day embarkation harbours.

To see the archive of videos, pictures and first-hand memories of the wartime Forest, visit the New Forest Knowledge website.

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