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Thread: The Exmoor Rocket

  1. #1
    Widdler
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    The true story behind the WWII memorial stone on Brendon Common, Exmoor.

    http://www.geocities.com/exmoorwalker/page100.htm

  2. #2
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    Excellent first site post there, RP!

    Edit - Any chance at all you could provide a bit more background to this interesting, andlittle known wartime story there perhaps, please? I have tried a couple of internet searches on the subject, but came up with a blank; save for the fact people locally recall a rocket testing site there on Exmoor in the war years. (on the People's War website).

  3. #3
    Widdler
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    Although I have passed by the memorial on several occasions and read the inscription, I like the locals know very little about it other than Colonel Maclaren was killed by a rocket. The fact that his fellow officers had this stone erectedin his memory when others who died in the war had nothing is perhaps an indication of his popularity. I understand he fought a remarkable rearguard action during the withdrawal to Dunkirk. Back in England he was in charge of developing a rocket to deliver gas. Brendon Common and beyond to Toms Hill and Larkbarrow wasa wartime experimental artillery range. It was across here that the rocket was fired. Apparently it was fired in a salvo from tubes mounted on a tripod. On the fatal day the tripod tipped and many of the rockets went vertical, one of them killing Colonel Maclaren. There are local storiesthat he threw himself on one of the spectators saving his life but I am not sure of that. The chap giving the talk has been associated with the Royal Engineers and has obtained a lot of information from the regiment re Maclaren and his rocket. This will be the first time that the full story gets out and will no doubt put an end to some of the local theories of weapons of mass destruction on Exmoor.

  4. #4
    Ultra King Trevor D Gamble's Avatar
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    There are quite a few people using the forum who are living local to the meeting; so hopefully it will be well attended, as it certainly sounds most interesting.

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