Shopkeepers seek truth of war story

Terry Palfrey, 63 and Geoff Kemp, 61, of Burley Coach House

Terry Palfrey, 63 and Geoff Kemp, 61, of Burley Coach House

First published in News by

BRITAIN’S “rudest” shopkeepers are appealing for information on the premises they have taken over in Burley.

Terry Palfrey and Geoff Kemp used to run Britain's Rudest Shop in Lymington, and took over the Burley Coach House a couple of years ago.

The Burley Coach House Country Store was a garage for many years. It was first opened in the 1930s or 1920s.

Mr Peters is trying to find out more information on a rumour they have been told and is asking Journal readers if they can help.

He said: “During the Second World War the building, I'm told, was requisitioned by the Americans who used it as a workshop to repair vehicles, maybe tanks, ready for the invasion of France.

“I have been told by several people that our building was blown up, by mistake, by the Americans.

“There were large oil and grease stains on the floor and, being the army, they did not like these and the sergeant major demanded that they be removed.

“The young squaddies set to work to scrub the floor with petrol to dissolve the oil and grease, but they did not think before they started as they also had a roaring fire in an old stove at the rear of the building. The petrol fumes ignited and BANG....The building was blown to pieces.”

Mr Peters says he has been told that as it was wartime the whole thing was kept quiet as there were several people killed.

He said: “If this is true, Geoff and I would really like to place a bronze plaque on the wall of the building, rebuilt in 1946, in memory of those guys.

“Their families probably never knew the truth about what happened to them.”

Contact the pair on 01425 402534 and leave a message or email paul.peters@live.com if you can help.

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