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The former hospital of Maryland was opened in 1903 by the Dutchess of Bedford outside the rural village of Woburn which is better known for its historical Abbey and Safari Park.
The site much later on in history became a training college for ‘live-in’ students however Maryland held a much darker and important responsibility during WWII in which it formed a pivotal role as the centre for Britain’s allied print operations.
Officially re-named as the ‘Headquarters of the Political Intelligence Department’, Marylands was home to expert typographers who would plate print propaganda messages and forge documents for secret agents.
(One of the team included an infamous expert forger named Armin Hull, who once directed Britain’s philatelic forgery operations.)
Thousands of these fake German messages were packed into leaflet bombs and dropped into occupied countries and after the attack on America’s Pearl Harbor in 1941 it was realized by the Americans that they were in need of gathering advanced propaganda expertise in a short space of time.
Churchill struck a deal with the Americans which would enable them to visit Marylands and gather intelligence in exchange for a Destroyer, to date the name of the Destroyer Britain received as payment remains unidentified.
The building now sits empty and desolate as it awaits renovation, in a site which holds the key to so many secrets of the past it’s hard to imagine such a mysterious place propelled into the utilities of residential 21st century living.
Perhaps the bunker tucked away near the ground’s edge will one day be re-discovered by children who have come to live in Marylands and they too will wonder as I once did, who could have built such an incredible den?
You are looking for a 35mm canister. Please replace exactly as found. Maryland was boarded up at the time of placing. Please incorporate the updates on the build in your logs as changes take place.
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