Czechs in Exile

Places of Interest

Addington House

Photograph of Addington House
Addington House (courtesy of Patrick House)

Addington is a small village near Winslow in Buckinghamshire, approximately 12 miles north west of Aston Abbotts. It consists of a church and some farms and houses.

Addington House is a Queen Anne style building in the village which belonged to Croxton C. B. Smith-Bingham in the 1940s.

It was taken over by the British Intelligence services during the Second World War and provided as accomodation for the Czech Intelligence services after their offices in Dulwich, London were bombed during the Blitz.

Photograph of Addington House
A christening at Addington Church in 1944 (courtesy of Cyrill Corbett)

Members of the Czechoslovak intelligence service and their families lived in Addington House as their residence. The men had their offices in London and had meetings with President Beneš at Aston Abbotts.

They also oversaw a military intelligence radio station at Hockliffe, and ran a training centre at Chichely Hall near Newport Pagnell in Bucks which between 1942 and 1943 trained 60 Czechoslovak volunteers for clandestine parachute missions.

Chichely Hall is now run as a conference centre and they have a website at

People living at Addinton House:

  • Head of the military intelligence: Colonel Moravec
  • Deputy Emil Strankmüller
  • The Cigna family
  • The Tauer Family
  • Also with wives and families. 4 Czech families in total.

Moravec's autobiography is called Master of Spies. In this book he talks about the story of his evacuation from Czechoslovakia. This was organised by their English counterpart Major Harold Gibson and he lived in Addington House with them.

Moravec was offered a KLM flight from Prague to Croydon via Amsterdam by the British Intelligence Services, They said they would supply the plane but could only offer him 11 seats. He selected 11 of his best men to fly, of which 10 eventually went with him. He could have taken members of his family with him but he did not include them and chose to leave without telling them where he was going in order to protect them and their families. Later his family escaped from Czechoslovakia via Poland.

The 10 men he took with him were:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Oldrich Tichy - his former deputy
  • Major Emil Strankmueller - his current deputy and chief of the espionage unit
  • Major Josif Bartik - chief of the counter espionage unit
  • Captain Jaroslav Tauer - his aide, secretary and financial officer
  • Captain Frantisek Fryc - expert on German military matters
  • Captain Josef Fort - an expert on Germany and on counter espionage matters
  • Major Alois Frank - able case officer and expert on Germany
  • Captain Vaclav Slama - expert on Germany and a lawyer
  • Captain Ladislav Cigna - expert on Germany military matters
  • Captin Karel Palecek - member of the espionage group and expert on personal documents

An old lady from Addington says that the Czech wife and families explained that they escaped across the Czech border through woodland.

In his book 'Master of Spies', Moravec also says:

I had emptied our safes of foreign currency and loaded a briefcase with about 200,000 Reichsmarks (£20,000) and about 100,000 Dutch gulden (£12,000). This, with what we had in Geneva, The Hague, Stockholm and Warsaw would start financing our operations abroad.
The departure itself was smooth although the airport was crawling with German agents. Two Czech Customs oficers, who knew us personally, glanced at our bulging briefcases and asked no questions.

© Copyright 2005-09 Czechoslovak Government in Exile Research Society
This page last updated 05 October 2009
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