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European President made the Vale his home during WW2

European President made the Vale his home during WW2

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 1:19pm 4th September 2019.

Back in World War Two Aylesbury Vale became the home to a president who was in exile from his country.

Neil Rees, from Chesham, has written a book about called 'The Czech Connection' which tells the story of the Czechoslovakia president living here while his country was under Nazi control.

The Czech President lived at Aston Abbotts, his cabinet at Wingrave and his military intelligence staff at Addington near Winslow.

The Czech Connection back cover
The back cover of 'The Czech Connection'

There is also a historic bus shelter on the A418 at the Wingrave Crossroads which was donated by the Czechoslovak Government in Exile.

Neil told us:

"There is a bus shelter with a plaque on it that says it was donated by President Benes.

"So, I decided to investigate the whole background to that.

"The way I did it was to interview elderly people in the area and also to contact people in the Czechoslovakia community.

"I married the two sides of the story together, which is now published in the book."

Neil also told us they chose Buckinghamshire because it was close to London but was safe during the war, because it was largely agriculture. 

The local connection also came through the Rothschild family, who arranged them to stay in the country houses. 

All the details on where to get 'The Czech Connection' can be found here.

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