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Wartime memories as Stourport Burlish Camp project wins backing
Buy this photo » ‘Very proud’: From left: Geoff Shaw, Jonathan Cooper and Lisa Cooper with information for the Burlish Camp project. Buy this photo 381205J at kidderminstershuttle.co.uk/pictures or by calling 01562 633333.
AN IMPORTANT chapter in Stourport’s past will be brought to life by a project to teach residents and visitors about the town’s former US Army camp.
The Burlish Camp Project has received £4,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to tell the fascinating story of the site’s Second World War history through information boards and activities such as guided walks.
It is hoped the installation of the boards outlining the site’s history will begin in October.
Geoff Shaw, district council project manager for Burlish Camp, said the idea came from a discussion between himself, district council conservation officer Paul Allen and Mr and Mrs Cooper a year ago.
“Iled a health walk at Burlish Top and decided I wanted to know more about its history so I could talk about it on the walks,” he said.
“Paul Allen picked up on the idea and used it to encourage people on the nature reserve.
“Mr and Mrs Cooper also posted on the facebook page we should commemorate the site so we decided we would put in a lottery bid for support.”
In 1943 4,000 American troops arrived at Burlish as the Allies prepared for DDay. After April 1944 the camp was converted into a US Army hospital and then became home to American and Polish SecondWorldWar veterans.
The new information boards will include an introduction to the site with maps and historic photos. Others will focus on the American military camp, the hospital, post-war history and another will be dedicated to the visit of American General George Patton who gave his legendary “blood and guts”
speech at the site in 1944.
Mrs Cooper said: “When we first thought about it, it was just an idea.
Jonathan and I went for a walk there and thought it was a shame there was nothing commemorating an important part of our town’s history.
“There has been a lot of interest and we are really proud something will happen. We hope to get schools interested and the whole community will benefit from it.”