Czech Ambassador visits Aylesbury village fete celebrating former World War II hideout

The Czechoslovakia President fled to this Aylesbury village when the Nazis took over his own country.

By James Lowson
Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 2:06 pm

Czech Republic deputy ambassador Aleš Opatrný visited Aston Abbotts Fete to unveil a new World War II information board on Sunday (July 25).

The ambassador came to see a new plaque showing the longstanding history between the Aylesbury village and the Czech Republic.

Aston Abbotts was the place Czechoslovakia President Edvard Beneš found refuge after being forced to flee his homeland during the war.

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Defence Attaché Vladimír Stolárik and Czech Republic Deputy Ambassador Aleš Opatrný with Buckingham MP Greg Smith

Whilst the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia the then President lived in Aston Abbotts safe house. Buckis became the of Czechoslovakia in exile, with local hospitality meaning the President was safe to meet with Winston Churchill, but also other exiled leaders especially General Sikorski of Poland, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, King Haakon VII of Norway and Charles de Gaulle of Free France.

Buckingham MP Greg Smith who opened the fete, commented: "It was a pleasure to formally open Aston Abbotts fete and chat to local residents. It felt very much like life is getting back to normal, seeing everyone coming together and enjoying the wonderful array of stalls and cream teas and flowers in the church.

"A highlight of the afternoon was the unveiling by Slovak Republic Defence Attaché Vladimír Stolárik and Czech Republic Deputy Ambassador Aleš Opatrný of a new information board on the history of Czechoslovakian President Beneš exile to the village in World War 2. It's great that the link between the two countries and all the local connections are being celebrated and that future generations will be able to learn all about them."

Aston Abbotts village fete is traditionally held on the last weekend of July offering a mixture of food, refreshments, stalls and family activities.

Greg Smith MP with Defence Attaché Vladimír Stolárik