In the hall of fame

MPMC Chicheley Hall
MPMC Chicheley Hall
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At Chicheley, in the presence of Earl Mountbatten, on June 3, 1973, the church clock was dedicated to the memory of the second Earl Beatty who lies buried in the churchyard. He was the son of the First World War naval hero David Beatty, who during WW1 had lead the advance British naval forces at the Battle of Jutland. In fact the actual desk he used aboard his flagship, the Lion, came to be displayed at Chicheley Hall along with many other exhibits of his naval career. As Vice Admiral, in 1916 Beatty had succeeded Jellicoe as Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, and perhaps his proudest moment came on November 21, 1918, when he watched the first instalment of the German fleet surrender off the Firth of Forth. In fact as an interesting memento the statuette of a lion, which had been placed before the German commander at the signing of the formal surrender, would also be included among the Chicheley exhibits. As for the Second World War, the realities of a different type of warfare were brought home on October 16, 1940 and December 4, 1940, when enemy bombs fell in the vicinity. Run by Czechoslovak military intelligence, from 1942 to 1943 Chicheley Hall became a training school for the Special Operations Executive and later in the war would be used as training centre for Polish personnel. From April 1944 it then became a wireless telegraphy school for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and after the war accommodated a boys’ school. It was then put up for sale in 1952 and during private ownership would make the acquaintance among others of the late Queen Mother and Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Today the Hall is the home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre.