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Draycot House & Estate, Draycot Cerne, Wiltshire



These photographs are of the current Draycot House and estate.  We visited the estate with Herb Christensen, from America, who had travelled to Draycot to present a plaque to commemorate the time when the 3802 QM Truck CP were stationed here during the Second World War.  Herb has for many years been researching the Company - his father was one of their numbers - and he told us that every member or their families that he has contacted who had been stationed at Draycot remembered it with great fondness, so this was a place he particularly wanted to visit because it meant a great deal to the Company.

We were fortunate to be shown round by the present owner and one of the now retired staff who worked on the estate, both relaying many stories of interest.  We were shown the coach house where the men had set up their mess, the stables where the men slept, four to each stall, and the field the Americans turned into their baseball pitch.  We saw the now replaced bridge which always had two guards posted on it and the descendants of the swans the men remembered being on the river.  This was a truely inspiring visit and we are very grateful to Mr. Bent for his hospitality and to Mr. Couzens for his time and effort in arranging for us to visit the church and house.

All our photographs have been sent to Herb who will no doubt be adding them to his research files and showing the remaining men and their families how the estate looks now.

We are grateful to Mr. Bent for allowing us to take the photographs, some of which are shown below.  We have tried to be respectful in chosing which photographs to publish here because this is, after all, Mr. Bent's home and we don't want to intrude.

St. James church is in the grounds of Draycot House and members of the public are only permitted to go along the driveway as far as the church - the rest of the grounds are private so please be respectful of this if you visit and do not pass the church.

On his return to America, Herb is hoping to find funding/help to collate his research to produce a comprehensive history of the Company, including his video footage, and produce a DVD of his work.  If you would like to know more about this, especially if you can offer help, please contact us and we will pass on your details to Herb.  We wish him luck with his project.
Draycot House
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Draycot Cerne - photo: 0254
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Entrance into the court yard
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Photo Date: October 2007
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Looking around the court yard from entrance - starting from the left
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entrance to the stables (on right) ...
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Flooring by entrance to stables
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windows through to stables (where the men slept), and start of the coach house
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Inside the stables
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One of the stalls where 4 men slept
Photo blurred
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coach house - where the mess was set up
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Inside the coach house
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Herb Christensen, Reuben Couzens & Jeremy Bent.
Herb is presenting the estate with a plaque to commemorate the stay of the 3802 QM Truck CP during the Second World War
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Photo Date: October 2007
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back to entrance into court yard
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Field where the men played baseball - the only area flat enough to play
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The gap in the wall is where the front steps were of the old house
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This year the swans have successfully reared 5 cygnets
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Daily feeding of the swans
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Sketch of the old Draycot House by Edward Kite in the 1660s (taken from the Wiltshire Collections entry)
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Photo Date: October 2007
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Photo of the old Draycot House
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Photo Date: October 2007
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The Wellesley Arms in nearby Sutton Benger - the 'local' for the men of the 3802 QM Truck CP during their stay at Draycot House during the Second World War
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Photo Date: October 2007
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Herb Christensen with the plaque now displayed in the Wellesley Arms
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Photo Date: October 2007
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Photo Date: October 2007

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