WW2 British Resistance Group

Wakehurst Place Zero Station drawn by William Webb Design & Print

We are currently looking for photographs and stories of the Terling and associated local British Resistance Groups. Do you have any information that might help?

Sometimes known as Churchill’s Secret Army, this was a sabotage organisation set up in 1940 in case of a Nazi invasion of the UK and Terling had a weapons store and hideout from where brave people were prepared to operate to harry the advancing invaders. One of those people was the late John Thurgood, who many years later, described the expectation of survival to be counted in days or weeks at most.

As reported by Roger Stanton in 2005 on the ELMS website The British Resistance – WW2 Escape Lines Memorial Society , “Members of the Auxiliary Units were given operational jobs in their own areas. They were taught demolitions, sabotage and movement by night, small arms, sniping and, most importantly, they were operating in familiar territory. The participants were mainly countrymen who knew how to live off the land and survive. Hides containing ammunition, grenades, and explosives were hidden in underground bunkers. The members continued with their daily life as much as possible and trained mainly at night. The Royal Signals provided much of the radio equipment and, near hide areas, they had cut channels in the bark of high trees then, at night, fitted the antenna into the height of the tree. Many of the radio operators had been asked to volunteer for ‘Special Duties’, and the ladies applying had to travel to Harrods, at Knightsbridge, for their interviews. Many operators were recruited from the ATS, and FANY. All members of the Auxiliary Units were fully aware that once they received the code word ‘Cromwell’ their chances of seeing their families again, and also reaching old age were very slim.”

The Terling hideout was similar to that at WakeHurst Place shown here.

We would love to hear if your Terling or Fairstead relatives were involved in this group or similar. Please contact us by email to

We Will Remember Them

On Sunday 8th November 2020, because of the pandemic, we are not able to join together in the normal Remembrance Sunday Service in the church. This does not mean the men of Terling who gave their lives will be forgotten.

The church bell will toll before and after the two-minute silence at 11am and the roll call of all the fallen will be remembered at the memorial on Church Green.

This year we lay crosses for four men.

  • Corporal Edward Warner, who died on 20th April 1920
  • Private Dennis Walter Mackrow, who died between 10th May and 23rd June 1940, aged 19.
  • Flying Officer Gerald Ivo Cuthbert, who died on the 14th May 1940
  • Sapper Trevor Hugh Easter, who died on 16th May 1940 aged 18.

Once again Rose Holden and the Craft Group have created a superb display of poppies, which can be seen at the church together with the History Group board showing the details of each of the men who did not return to our villages. This year there is also a new display board, created by Bob Isted, which shows the personal plaques used on the individual crosses which are laid each year.

The church is open every day for individual prayer during lockdown.

Please remember social distancing requirements if you attend the church to view the displays during lockdown, and at the memorial if you join us for the roll call, two minute silence, wreath and cross laying.

Terling – The Common Place Book

Just before Covid lockdown Clare Maslen was given a book for the Terling archives, but this was no ordinary book. It was a beautiful, completely hand-made book, 17 inches by 13 inches, [43cm by 33cm] describing all aspects of life in Terling in 1975.

Ten ladies of the then Terling Women’s Institute group drafted, illustrated, wrote in copperplate, created the book and embroidered the cover.

We have photographed each page of the book and created a PDF which you can now view on our website The original book will now be kept in the archives and will be on display at future history events in All Saints’ church.

The ladies who made this treasure were: Mrs Bright, Mrs Comyn, Mrs Evans, Mrs Jeremiah, Mrs Lepper, Mrs Noakes, Mrs Pell, Mrs Readman, Mrs Roundell and Miss Roundell.

WANTED -Before we forget! Your Lockdown Stories & Pictures

Please help record the kindnesses you were shown, or tell us of volunteers who helped others, how the children missed the school, or worshippers missed the church. How did you get your shopping? What did you do for a beer when the pubs had to shut? Did you teach the children at home and were you trying to work as well? Who walked your dog when you were poorly or self isolating? Did you have a VE Day Tea?

Please let us have copies of your pictures, your notes of your highs and your lows, as a record for future generations of how Terling & Fairstead pulled together at this strange time.

Please send your pictures and your notes – long or short, all are welcome – to

Please help record the 2020 VE DAY in Terling

In 1995 a number of Terling residents put together a special church service, a children’s tea in wartime style and a wonderful exhibition of wartime memories, photographs and collectables to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

This year, despite various households planning lovely celebratory lunches and similar events, ironically thanks to the Coronavirus, we will all have to celebrate our freedom while in lockdown!

It would be good to mark this day in our village archive and many people are decorating their homes and planning tea with their immediate family. Please record your decorations, VE Tea, or other event and email your best photos, with names of those in the photos and the photographer (so we don’t have to guess in years to come), to

Happy Christmas

Seasons Greetings to all those in Terling and elsewhere that are interested in the history of this lovely village.

We will continue to collect pictures and other items to show the life and times and how they change, if they do, of the people and places in the village. If you have items you would like to share with others please let us know.

Our next meeting will be at 2pm on Thursday the 23rd January 2020 at All Saints’ Church Terling.

Do join us for a cuppa and see just some of the items we have collected and the work we are doing to preserve our village history.

Look at what’s going on!

Don’t forget our meetings are noted (not proper minutes because we hope we are more chatty than that) and you can catch up with what is going on by having a look at our webpages and the notes. All online.

Better still, come along to our next meeting for a chat over a cuppa and biscuits.

Our next meeting is at 2pm on 21st November 2019 in the Tower Room of the All Saints’ Church. You might know the one – on the beautiful Church Green, Terling.

Copyright Neil Parris 2018