• LOCATION 6 | The Battle of Britain House: A Walk Through Ruislip Woods

    The Shed

    The Shed on London audio tour The Battle of Britain House: A Walk Through Ruislip Woods

    The outline of what used to be the mansion's sheds should be visible through the foliage ahead of you, to the left. Please stop there.

    You may have passed another sewage access point on your way here. Past that and on your left, you'll see the outline of the mansion's gardening sheds. Take some time here to explore this location. You may find evidence of gardening activity, such as pots, planters and bottles for garden chemicals.

    Faced with the unknown, the OSS came up with a cunning plan to infiltrate Germany. The OSS Labor Division was established to initiate contact with activist workers, exiled communists, and other anti-Nazi refugees from occupied Europe. Once their suitability was established, these men and women would be trained, and then inserted behind the enemy lines to perform covert operations on behalf of the Allies. To that end, the OSS sent an experienced labour relations lawyer from New York named Lt. Joseph Gould across the Atlantic. He was tasked with locating and then recruiting London's Free Germans.

    The Free Germans were civilian dissidents who had escaped Hitler's Germany in the 1930s and had found their way to Britain via Czechoslovakia. Once there, the exiled Communists and Socialists gathered in groups to conspire against the Nazis, and discuss the new politics that would emerge in Germany after the war. The group of socialist emigres was organised by a man called Jurgen Kuczynski, a German economist who managed the group's contact with the British Communist Party, and in extent, with Moscow - a fact that remained unknown to US Intelligence agencies until after the end of the Cold War. He was the man Lt Joseph Gould began looking for upon his arrival in London. Soon, he located Kuczynski and London's Free Germans in one of their favourite hangout spots, a foreign language bookstore.

    Make your way back towards the steps area, and turn left once you meet the trail that will take you towards the bottom of the garden. You will soon reach what used to be a pool.

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The Battle of Britain House: A Walk Through Ruislip Woods