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Chalke Valley History Festival 2017 - programme released

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Dan Snow and Suzannah Lipscomb are just two of the 140 history speakers lined up for the Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival, which runs from 26 June to 2 July. Family Tree magazine will be at the festival on 30 July, to give a talk and meet visitors.

Now in its seventh year, the festival has moved to a new venue, in Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, near Salisbury in Wiltshire. 

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The festival is the largest such event in the world devoted entirely to history and attracts a line-up of speakers like no other.

Festival favourites returning once more include:

  • Antony Beevor
  • John Julius Norwich
  • Artemis Cooper
  • David Owen
  • Paddy Ashdown
  • Alex Langlands
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World War Two history

The Chalke Valley audiences always extend a warm welcome to the Second World War veterans, and this year the Festival will host a morning with two Knight’s Cross Winners: Hugo Broch and Günter Halm, and veteran of the entire Eastern Front campaign, Hans Schönfeld.

French holocaust survivor Jacques Altmann will also be sharing his extraordinary story, as will the last surviving member of the Long Range Desert Group who fought in North Africa, Mike Sadler. Fighter pilots Keith Quilter and Colin Bell will tell tales of incredible skill and courage whilst flying their planes over enemy territory, as will former Lancaster bomber Rusty Waughman. 

This year, the air display line-up will include some of the most  iconic aircraft from World War II. The Battle of Britain veteran Hurricane R4118 and the P-51D Mustang ‘Tall in the Saddle’ are already confirmed, as is Britain’s only flying Lancaster. 

Living history

Amongst the living historians at the festival (all experts in their field) will be medieval knights, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, Celts and Romans, as well as a large Napoleonic encampment with infantry, artillery and even mounted cavalry. There will also be a horse-drawn World War I ambulance as well as a number of other historic vehicles.  

The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will take place in Church Bottom, Bury Lane, Broad Chalke, Wiltshire, SP5 5DP. For more details about the Festival, please visit the website. Tickets can be purchased from here or by calling 01722 781133. 

For the full programme, visit the Chalke Valley History Festival website.

(Images copyright Andrew Chorley)

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