Dorset's Military Heritage
Series: Military Heritage
- Dean Hollands
15th June 2023
The making of Dorset’s military heritage has been a dramatic, brutal, and often turbulent affair. From the time of the Durotriges tribes and their spectacular Iron Age strongholds, to the more modern sea forts and blast-proof nuclear bunkers of the Cold War, Dorset’s landscape has been shaped by generations of defensive countermeasures.
Successive and bloody invasions by Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman forces have paved the way for revolution, civil uprising, insurrection and rebellions that history defines as the Peasants’ Revolt, the Swing and Monmouth Rebellions, the rise of the Dorset Clubmen, the Anarchy and English Civil Wars.
In Tudor times the ships of Elizabeth I’s navy dropped anchor in Dorset’s waters before engaging the Spanish Armada off Portland. Men of the local volunteers, militias, yeomanry, and Dorsetshire's Regiment of Foot have fought bravely and with distinction at home and abroad, from the Peninsular War to South Africa, and through two world wars. The Royal Flying Corps and its successor the Royal Air Force played vital roles in defending the nation, and during the Second World War their presence proved invaluable in the planning and execution of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of northern France.
Dorset also has a long and distinguished association with military dignitaries. Their number include Sir Walter Raleigh; Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy; Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence; Mabel St Clair Stobart; Admiral Sir George Somers; and William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse, Britain’s first aviation hero to receive the Victoria Cross.
Military historian and battlefield guide, former soldier Dean Hollands writes passionately about Britain’s military heritage and this book will interest anyone keen to know more about Dorset’s remarkable military history.