Award-winning village and home to leading disability charity Enham Trust, Enham Alamein, recently commemorated the 73rd anniversary of the infamous Battle of El Alamein; during which some of the village’s early residents played a vital role.
The Battle, which took place in Egypt as part of the Second World War, marked a major turning point in the War, culminating in an Allied victory which ended the Axis threat to Egypt and revived plummeting morale amongst the Allies.
Originally opened in 1919 as a place for injured servicemen and their families to rehabilitate after the First World War, Enham Village offered a home and work to its new residents. In 1945 the village was selected to receive a substantial gift from the Egyptian Government in gratitude of the Allied victory at the Battle of El Alamein and the village was renamed Enham Alamein in gratitude.
Together with representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Mayor of Test Valley and her civic party, and MP for North West Hampshire Kit Malthouse, current residents of the village and members of the public were invited to remember the Battle during a Commemoration of Thanksgiving at the Alamein Church – the internationally recognised memorial church for the battle of El Alamein.
“As for the battle I remember it well,” recalls El Alamein Veteran Leslie Gosling. “As a young Second Lieutenant I fired the barrage for the attack. It was a still warm night and at 9.40 exactly, more than 800 guns opened up simultaneously and fired until the gun barrels glowed red hot. We had to cease firing and pour water down the barrels to cool them before resuming.” We were told many soldiers’ ears bled with the noise.
73 years on and Enham Alamein, as part of Enham Trust, is now celebrated for the efforts of the Trust and the Parish Council to improve facilities for all and provide an active, caring community; the Trust now supports over 7,500 disabled and disadvantaged people across the country to live as independently as possible.
For more information about Enham Trust or to find out more about the village’s rich and varied history, please visit: www.enhamtrust.org.uk