Historian’s books shed light on town’s wartime history

John Taylor, historian of Fenny Stratford.
John Taylor, historian of Fenny Stratford.

Milton Keynes historian John Taylor has released two books about the wartime history of the town.

Mr Taylor, who lives in Bletchley and writes The Way We Were section in the MK Citizen each week has written Urgent Copy: The Wolverton Express Reports the 1914-1918 War and Secret Sisters of Bletchley Park: Psychological Warfare in World War II.

Secret Sisters was first launched in 2005 and deals with codebreaking as well as other secret intelligence activities in the local area during the Second World War.

The district was chosen by the government because it was a quiet rural area and due to its road, rail and telecommunications links with London.

The other intelligence operations were based in houses around Woburn and Aspley Guise, Whaddon Hall and Hanslope Park. There were also recording studios at Milton Bryan and transmission bases in Gawcott and Potsgrove.

Urgent Copy is a collection of letters published in the Wolverton Express from soldiers on active service during the First World War.

The letters were sent to family and friends and portray the horrific conditions and the stoic humour of the troops.

Mr Taylor co-wrote the book with Bryan Dunleavy.

Both books are available from Waterstones, in central Milton Keynes or online via Magic Flute Publications (www.magicflutepublications.co.uk), Amazon or Waterstones.