Supporters

 

Sir David Jason

“Trent Park was such an important establishment during the Second World War and so it would be wonderful to retain the fabric of the place and create a historic landmark as a tribute to the essential work carried out there.  In an effort to keep Britain secure in the grips of war, Kendrick was one of the leading intelligence officers working out of Trent Park and so he, in particular, should be remembered with a memorial on the site.”  Sir David Jason OBE

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Michael Hayden, Former Director of CIA & NSA‘The British-American “special relationship” has its roots in the two nations’ WW II intelligence cooperation, cooperation exemplified by places like Trent Park.  It is heartening for an American to see Britain work to preserve such special locations so that they and the lessons they teach will be available to future generations.” General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA and CIA

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Iain Standen, CEO of Bletchley Park

What Trent Park has is a sense of place. The sense that you can stand somewhere and feel the history, that you can walk in the footprints of the people who made it.” Iain Standen, Chief Executive of Bletchley Park

 

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fritz lustigOur work was so top secret that we didn’t really know whether it had any effect on the outcome of the war, as we never got any feedback. Now that the files are declassified it is possible to appreciate that the work of the secret listeners played a crucial role in the secret war.” Fritz Lustig, 97 year-old WWII veteran and former Secret Listener

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.Trent and its surrounding parkland has had a fascinating history, from the time it was part of a Royal hunting domain, to its distinguished role during the Second World War. It was owned briefly by the Cholmondeley family in the 18th Century, and much later my great-uncle, Sir Philip Sassoon, redesigned the house and used it for political entertaining on a grand scale. I am sure a museum in the house telling this intriguing story would be of great interest.” Lord Cholmondeley, great-nephew of Sir Philip Sassoon

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helen lederer

“My Grandfather Ernst Lederer translated at Trent park during the war and given a medal by m16 for his intelligence. A place of huge significance.” Helen Lederer, comedian, actress and writer

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peter stansky

I am writing as a strong supporter for the preservation of Trent Park as a historical site. What took place there during the Second World War was extremely important and dramatic. But its long previous history stretching back to the 18th century needs to be remembered as well, particularly Philip Sassoon, the creator of the current house. It is a superb cause.Professor Peter Stansky, Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and author of Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil

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tracy borman“This is a hugely important historic monument, and we must preserve its story for future generations.” Dr Tracy Borman, historian, author and Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces

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adam ganzThe story of Trent Park must not be forgotten. It was one of the first places in Britain the terrors of the final Solution were spoken of, and where reflections on Nazi war crimes began. These rooms must be able to share the secrets they overheard with future generations.” Professor Adam Ganz, writer of BBC Radio 4 play on Trent Park Listening to The Generals

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“While the originally top-secret work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park has become widely known and subject of countless books and films, the role of Trent Park House in Cockfosters has only recently emerged. During the Second World War the building was requisitioned by M.I.6 and housed captured senior German officers. Unknown to the prisoners, Trent Park House was laced with hidden microphones and crucial information about Hitler’s V1 and V2 rockets and the German atomic bomb programme was unwittingly revealed to British intelligence officers. Like the now nationally treasured Bletchley Park, the institution’s contribution to the Allied war effort is incalculable. Sadly, Trent Park House is now under threat of development into luxury flats. Yet all is not yet lost. A campaign has been set up, which is pressing for the creation of a museum in the former mansion house. I very much hope that you can join me in supporting the fight to preserve this vital piece of Britain’s history and heritage.” Dr Richard Baxell, historian, author and Chair of the International Brigade Memorial Trust

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JOCIMAGEMAY2010“In 1978 I had the good fortune to become the first American journalist to reveal the intact existence of the near mythic Churchill Cabinet War Rooms, mere steps from Number Ten Downing Street.  They were generally unknown to all but a few history enthusiasts.  Hundreds of reader letters to officials at HM Treasury contributed to the opening of the enclave as a museum in 1985, now one of the most visited in London.  Voices do matter, especially if they are raised in large numbers.  A similar need now exists to save the Trent Park mansion from conversion into a housing estate.  As with the Cabinet War Rooms, Trent Park is part of the story of our lives and our civilization.  Its existence connects the past to the present, and its story deserves to be told to future generations.” Jerome M. O’Connor, U.S. Naval Institute Author of the Year

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“I’m writing in support of your excellent proposal to create a museum in the lower floors of Trent Park. The history of the house is wonderfully eccentric: a wealthy MP’s mansion, where ‘one of the world’s great hosts’ entertained celebrity guests from Charlie Chaplin to George Bernard Shaw to Edward VIII in the Twenties, then the ‘detention camp’ of Nazi top brass captured in World War II whose private conversations were secretly monitored by British Intelligence. I think it would fascinate the public and be a splendid asset for the Enfield community. I’m particularly pleased that the plan would allow the mural decorations by my uncle – the artist Rex Whistler, 1905-1944, (who was killed in action in Normandy) – to be preserved and visible after many years of obscurity. They are not his most celebrated work, but they are very typical of the light-hearted neo-classical style he made popular in the Thirties.” Robin Ravilious (née Whistler), niece of Rex Whistler

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“There are so many grounds on which Trent Park should be preserved intact, all of which will provide a multi-layered foundation for an excellent museum and potentially popular local amenity with national outreach.” Dr Tim Hochstrasser, Associate Professor of History at the London School of Economics

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“If some significant part of Trent Park were put aside for a museum it would help to commemorate the unique wartime use of this stately home – as for example has been done with Bletchley Park and other sites. Such action can be justified by the strong educational value to future generations.” Dr David Hamer, author, historian and founder of National Cryptologic Museum (NSA) in Washington DC

 

“Trent Park is such a wonderful place, with so much history attached, especially during vital years of our history.” Anne de Courcy, biographer

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“I passionately support this campaign to commemorate work of secret listeners and to make known to wider public important aspects of secret war.” Dr Claire Hubbard-Hall, Senior Lecturer in History, Bishop Grosseteste University

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“I tried to stop developers destroying the WW2 HQ of MI9 in Beaconsfield, only to see them move in over night and destroy the building, to remove any attempt (or point) in saving it. The history of MI9/IS9 is an unsung British history akin to Bletchley Park and we need to preserve at least something of the original history, or at least directly related history (as with Trent Park), so please support this campaign and preserve Trent Park for our future.” Phil Froom, author of Evasion & Escape Devices Produced by MI9, MIS-X & SOE in World War II

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“At Trent Park the secret listeners used specialist equipment from America to record the prisoners’ unguarded conversations and gained war-winning intelligence. It was a major clandestine wartime centre that has many secrets still to be discovered. A national museum here is vital.” Mark Birdsall, Editor of Eye Spy Magazine

 

”One of the lesser known aspects of the secret war is the contribution made by human intelligence (HUMINT) in fleshing out the Allies overall intelligence picture. Whereas signals intelligence provided the where and when, human intelligence provided the how and why. It gave context and background to the commands being sent through encrypted radio communications. Much human intelligence was obtained through the skilful interrogation of enemy Prisoners of War and the secret listening of their private conversations. From this Britain first learned about the German secret weapons programme at Peenemünde, it heard firsthand the gruesome accounts of atrocities being committed on the Eastern front, it provided information on the divisions and disagreements within the enemy leadership, and gave an intimate view into the enemy’s thinking and morale. Nowhere was this more so than at Trent Park. Here were incarcerated the highest ranking of the captured Wehrmacht officers, their every utterance recorded by the German émigré secret listeners ensconced in the basements of this elegant English country house. Trent Park and its extraordinary contribution to the secret intelligence war not only must be preserved, its story must also be told. Lee Richards, historian and expert in Psychological Warfare in WW2 

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Other key supporters include:

Patrick Baty FRSABritish historian of architectural paint and colour

David Burrowes MP, Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate (in which Trent Park is situated)

Damian Collins MP, Author of ‘Charmed Life: The Phenomenal World of Philip Sassoon’, Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Hythe, member of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

Peter Gibbs, Chairman of the Friends of Trent Country Park

Tony Hillman, Chairman of the Trent Park Conservation Committee

Rev Richard James, Vicar of Christ Church Cockfosters (in the parish of which Trent Park is situated)

Cllr Terry Neville OBE JP, Opposition Leader of the London Borough of Enfield

Cllr Doug Taylor, Leader of the London Borough of Enfield

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet (which is adjacent to Trent Park)

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RELATIVES OF WORLD WAR TWO TRENT PARK PERSONNEL:

I feel passionately about the establishment of a full WW2 Museum at Trent Park, not only because my Grandfather Colonel Kendrick was in charge of the secret listeners there, but also to preserve the memory of the many men and women who worked there and never received the recognition they so richly deserved.Barbara Lloyd, granddaughter of Col Thomas Kendrick

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“My German grandfather, Josef Ross, was a career soldier. Following the Allied assault on Wesel in March 1945, he surrendered what was left of his unit and was subsequently taken as a POW to Trent Park, About ten years ago I discovered by chance the transcript of a conversation he had with Luftwaffe General Bassenge at Trent Park. I did not realise at the time that it was the product of the sophisticated intelligence-gathering operation. The significance of Trent Park has becomingly increasingly evident as research has emerged in recent years. I very much hope a museum commemorating the war-time operations at the house can be established.” John Ross, grandson of imprisoned officer Josef Ross

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“The work done at Trent Park, part of which is Grade 11 listed, was on a par with that done at Bletchley, which is now a museum. Without the information learned here, the war would have lasted many years longer. My Uncle worked there and was one of Churchill’s elite hidden army. I thank him, and all who worked at Trent Park, for giving us the Freedom we now enjoy. I think they deserve a museum in their honour as they could not be lauded at the time due to the secrets they held and their oath of silence. A museum would be a great tourist attraction in Barnet and an educational asset to make children aware of the horrors of warfare.” Elizabeth Driscoll, niece of Trent Park intelligence officer

 

“I’m signing because my father Dr Hans Francken worked in the house during WW2 listening to German Prisoners of war, which helped the war to be ended 2 years earlier than it would have.” John Francken, son of Secret Listener Dr Hans Fracken

 

“We need to preserve our history and our culture.” Ernest Newhouse, son of Secret Listener

 

“This story has too recently emerged from the shadows, and is still being coloured in, to be buried again. We need both the history and the archaeology of it.” Derek Nudd, grandson of Commander Cope, Head of Naval Intelligence at Trent Park

 

“My father interrogated German prisoners here during the war”. Anne Walton, daughter of Wing Commander Dennis Felkin, Head of Air Intelligence at Trent Park

 

“My father worked there during WW2. He never told us about it and it’s only in recent years, seventy years later, that this unrecognised work has emerged into history. It needs to be preserved.” Tom Deveson, son of  intelligence officer at Trent Park