This overview highlights the many areas in England, which were affected by the World Wars either serving as defence posts, military stations or as victims of enemy shelling.
Some of the sites mentioned below still show evidence of their position in history.
South West England
The castle was manned and armed during both World Wars. In 1940 after England had entered the war, two guns were hastily deployed on site. One is on the roof of the old battery, where the brick built gun shelter is disguised as medieval battlements.
Though the castle itself saw no action during the Second World War, the gunners there must have felt they were at the centre of things when in 1944 an estimated 480 US ships sailed to the invasion of Normandy from Dartmouth.
Launceston was the site of an American field hospital from 1943-45, when huts were built in the bailey.
Pendennis Castle and St Mawes Castle
These castles made up 'Fortress Falmouth' - a defence system that ran along the Cornish coast during World War II. Pendennis was issued with a coastal defence gun system while St. Mawes served as a radar station.
During World War I, Pendennis Castle only had a small garrison stationed there - but was nevertheless the witness to one of the big dramas of the war. Mata Hari, the infamous spy, was captured in Falmouth Harbour trying to escape on a ship!
This castle was used at a seaplane station in World War I and in World War II served as station point to the Women's Royal Navy (the WRENS). It was also the site where US soldiers gathered before the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
During World War II the castle bailey was used as a camp ground for evacuees.
South East England
One of the key World War sites. Beneath the impressive castle, tunnels were first dug out in the early 1800's. In the First World War the tunnels were mainly used for ammunition storage and were under the control of the Royal Navy.
During the Second World War the tunnels were completed and provided hidden and secure operations centres for the NAAFI. Kitchens, mess rooms, accommodation and a hospital were also built.
It was in this tunnel system, dug deep into the bedrock, that Winston Churchill and Admiral Ramsey masterminded the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940. Today visitors can follow an injured soldier through Underground Hospital and get a chance to hear and smell what life in the tunnels was like during these dark years.
Eltham Palace and Gardens
The previous owner Stephen Courtauld joined the Artists' Rifles during the First World War and his war experiences had a profound influence on him, expressed by some war art objects in the house. His wife, Virginia, joined the Voluntary Women's Service during the First World War.
During the First World War Lord Mansfield offered Kenwood for use as a war hospital and in November 1915 the Royal Naval Anti-Aircraft Mobile Brigade was established in the stable block.
Marble Hill House
The grounds were used for training soldiers during the First World War and part of the estate grounds were dug up to provide food for soup kitchens for the locals.
East of England
Audley End House and Gardens
The site was requisitioned in 1941 by the government and used to train Polish Officers for top-secret wartime missions. Some of these officers were later killed in action and an urn in the grounds commemorates their sacrifice.
Great Yarmouth Row Houses
Originally built by a wealthy merchant in 1603 this building was later turned into three small houses.
During the Second World War, the Row took a direct hit and was severely damaged during two separate bombing raids of the town. This almost resulted in the near obliteration of the historic layout of the Yarmouth Rows.
During the Second World War the fort was used extensively for D-Day embarkation practices. One of the best preserved D-day embarkation hards (concrete mats) can also be seen at the site.
Although the two gun batteries were used in both World Wars, they played a particularly important role during the Second World War as defence against torpedo boats.
The keep was used as a lookout during the Second World War. Later in the war it also housed a radar.
Tilbury Fort was built to protect London from enemy ships and was regularly garrisoned until after the Second World War.
During the First World War anti-aircraft guns at the fort shot down a German Zeppelin. During the Second World War the fort was used as a base for the Home Guard and to control anti-aircraft defences on the Thames and Medway. Many of the buildings were later destroyed during bombing.
During the First World War Bolsover was used to house prisoners and as a lookout for Sheffield and Chesterfield. During the Second World War the local Home Guard used the terrace as a rifle range.
Boscobel House and the Royal Oak
During the Second World War Boscobel House was home to Italian prisoners of war, who worked on the farm and surrounding land. A number of Home Guard units were also stationed at Boscobel for training and defence.
Anti-aircraft batteries were also installed to protect the nearby RAF Airfield at Cosford.
A memorial window can be seen in the chapel commemorating the service and civilian aircrews who lost their lives in radar development flying duties between 1936-1976. The unveiling marked the anniversary of the worst tragedy when a Halifax aircraft crashed near Goodrich Castle killing all 11 crew.
Hardwick Old Hall
During the Second World War a parachute regiment was stationed here. The Old Hall was used for abseiling and other exercises.
The cellar at Kirby Hall was used by some of the locals as a bomb shelter during the Second World War. The land immediately behind the shop was used for tank training.
A bomb was dropped a few miles from the house in the fields towards Harringworth.
Children from Liverpool were evacuated to Wenlock Priory and it is believed that some of the children stayed at the Prior's Lodge at the Priory.
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
In 1939 the Army requisitioned the Hall, along with a number of South Yorkshire country houses. Brodsworth Hall housed the Royal Artillery and a support corps of the Royal Signals.
In 1940 the park was turned into a tent camp and used for soldiers recuperating after Dunkirk. Later in the Second World War the Hall became the headquarters for General Alexander and the Northern Command, and was a key place for strategic decision making.
Helmsley was a defended town and part of the anti-tank ditch for the town ran through the castle grounds.
During the Second World War this site was used by the military to test waterproof vehicles in preparation for D-Day. The site appears to have been quite high profile, welcoming both the royal family and Churchill.
The prison cells at Richmond Castle were used to hold conscientious objectors, who refused to fight on moral or religious grounds during the two World Wars.
During the First World War some of these men were court-marshalled for refusing orders and sentenced to death. They became known as the Richmond 16.
Duncombe Park Estate (of which Rievaulx Abbey is part) was taken over by the 11th Armoured Division in the Second World War. They used the grounds to train troops in how to fire guns whilst on a model of a moving tank.
In 1914 shelling by German battlecruisers 'Derfflinger' and 'Von der Tann' destroyed the castle barracks.
In 1914 German warships shelled the church.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
During the First World War Belsay was used as a base for soldiers recuperating after fighting in Europe.
At the beginning of the Second World War the resident family moved out of the Hall so the army could use the premises for training and accommodation.
In the early 1900s when Germany became a threat to England, Tynemouth Castle became the control centre of the Tyne Defences, which stretched from Sunderland to Blyth.
It also served as the command base for coastal defences from Hartlepool to Berwick during the Second World War.