The story of how a vast expanse of fertile agricultural land, complete with historic farmhouses, was requisitioned in 1939 preparation for the inevitable war with Germany will be told by Adrian James at the next lecture meeting of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society.

In 1939 the War Office acquired a huge proportion of the Stackpole Estate in South Pembrokeshire, to use as a training area for the armoured units of the British Army.

Adrian will explain the story behind the War Office decision to annexe much of the Castlemartin peninsula and will throw light upon what the landowner and his tenants thought about the event. His illustrated lecture will also consider the national uproar that the decision caused and the trenchant differences of opinion that it brought to the surface among the local populace.

It will also describe the type of training that took place on the range and the highly secret trials that took place in advance of the invasion of Normandy in 1945.

Adrian James was born and brought up in Pembroke Dock and, after working briefly as a casual range warden on Castlemartin Range in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was inspired to delve more deeply into the background of the military takeover. Adrian is a retired teacher who lives in Suffolk, but he returns to Pembrokeshire at every opportunity to continue his investigations into the fascinating history of his home county.

The talk will take place at the Archives building in Prendergast, Haverfordwest on Friday, February 2, starting at 2.30pm. All are welcome.