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10.00 till 4.00

Look on our news page, or find us on Facebook for special event openings.

01769 540740.


Museum Admission charges:

Adults £9.00

Seniors £6.00

Schoolchildren (5 – 16) £4.00

Under 5s free


In the Collection’s buildings Guide Dogs only

No problem with well behaved dogs on site,

and as we are in the country there are plenty of “walkies” around.




Phone 01769 540740

Last updated  15/02/20 To keep up to date with our news, find us on Facebook









2016   events


Cobbaton combat vj weekend 2016

Saturday 13th/ Sunday 14th august






Below are previous year’s events



Cobbaton Clearout 2016

Sunday 1st May



2015   events

Cobbaton Clearout 2015

Sunday 3rd May


D-Day Weekend

In conjunction with the

“Friends of the Assault Training centre”

And the Military vehicle Trust,

Saturday June 6th there will be a display at Saunton Sands,

And on Sunday June 7th there will be a military vehicle event here.


Cobbaton combat vj weekend 2015

Saturday 15th/ Sunday 16th august









Cobbaton combat vj weekend
17th & 18th August 2013


Our annual event to commemorate the end of WWII and remember the “Forgotten Army” of the Burma Star.


Held on land at the Collection there will be displays of military vehicles and equipment, militaria stalls, and living history groups from various periods from WW1 onwards.


Open to the public from 9am to 5pm each day, pitch fees etc. to be confirmed.


Exhibitors and stall-holders are welcome to camp from Friday 16th onward.


We have toilets and disabled facilities. Hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams are available on site in our NAAFI canteen.


Located 5½ miles South East of Barnstaple, directions will be sent to entrants. Use sat navs at your own risk!


Entry forms and sales pitch booking available from: Tim Isaac, Cobbaton Combat Collection, Cobbaton,Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, N. Devon, EX37 9RZ.

Tel: 01769 540740








In conjunction with

North devon sports and classic car club


Here on Sunday 26th may

11am to 4pm



Cobbaton Clearout


THIS Sunday 5th May 2013

9am to 4pm

Our annual militaria market




29th March 2013


With Easter being early this year we opened a few days sooner than usual. So that’s daily until April 14th, 10am til 5pm, then closed Saturdays. Although the temperature isn’t particularly Spring-like yet, at least for now it’s dry [though don’t quote me].

The Thorneycroft radio shack sort-out is finally finished, and we are pleased with the new D-Day landing display. The Russian and German gun cabinets are also ready for inspection!

Preparations have already begun for our May events this year, first being our annual Clearout, held here on Sunday 5th May from 9am. Then on 26th May we, in conjunction with the North Devon Sports and Classic Car Club, are holding an Autojumble. Our VJ Weekend falls on the 17th/18th August this year. For any more information on either of these days, please contact Tim.

Also worth a mention is a 2-day event at Woolacombe on 31st August/1st September to mark the 70th Anniversary of the Assault Training Centre, see their website for more details…



28th January 2013

Another year behind us, our 31st. In terms of weather, a pretty soggy affair, however, we were lucky that our August VJ Weekend had one of the only dry days of the month!

In business terms 2012 was not a brilliant year, but our small drop in numbers doesn’t seem so bad when compared with how some other businesses have fared. Who knows what 2013 will bring, many people will feel they have no more, or perhaps even less money in their pocket to spend, so we had this in mind when deciding to hold adult and O.A.P. entrance prices at last year’s rates. We will put schoolchildren’s admission up by 50p, as the previous rate had not changed for several years.

Preston and Tim have just returned from their annual trip with a stall to the Stoneleigh Militaria Fair, for once having sold more than they bought!

Back at the museum, some of the work this winter has been on gun display. The German small-arms have been put together in two cabinets, and there are now two cabinets of Russian small-arms.

The Thorneycroft radio shack has had considerable time spent IN it, so hopefully by the season’s start it will be ready to view again! There have been grumbles about the weight of wartime radio sets…



Cobbaton Clearout


Sunday 5th May 2013

9am to 4pm

Our annual militaria market -  Pitch fees to be confirmed, please check back soon.


Cobbaton combat vj weekend
17th & 18th August 2013


Our annual event to commemorate the end of WWII and remember the “Forgotten Army” of the Burma Star.


Held on land at the Collection there will be displays of military vehicles and equipment, militaria stalls, and living history groups from various periods from WW1 onwards.


Open to the public from 9am to 5pm each day, pitch fees etc. to be confirmed.


Exhibitors and stall-holders are welcome to camp from Friday 16th onward.


We have toilets and disabled facilities. Hot and cold snacks, drinks and ice creams are available on site in our NAAFI canteen.


Located 5½ miles South East of Barnstaple, directions will be sent to entrants. Use sat navs at your own risk!


Entry forms and sales pitch booking available from: Tim Isaac, Cobbaton Combat Collection, Cobbaton, Chittlehampton, Umberleigh, N. Devon, EX37 9RZ.

Tel: 01769 540740








This winter we have spent a lot of time working on displays and cabinets.

Cabinets have had the dust of the last 20 plus years removed, and an attempt made to give each cabinet a theme.

The Enfield rifles have a display of their own, likewise American  weapons, Mauser rifles, the Vickers Machine Gun, and items connected with the North African Campaign.

A lot more items - handguns, rifles and bayonets have emerged from storage and gone on show.

At last we have started labelling and identifying items, and have done about half of our cabinets.

Amongst the 90 bayonets are some we have not managed to identify, but hopefully a more knowledgeable visitor will be able to !

The Falklands 30 years on.

Our captured Argentinian Mercedes G Wagen and 105mm recoilless gun  has been out for a photo shoot for Military Machines International. We are hoping it may be possible to have these out for our VJ Weekend to display alongside visiting kit from that period.








Our May 1st Clearout is now history, and seems to have gone very well. We had about thirty traders on site for the day, and by all accounts some good deals were to be had. We sold enough of the stock stored indoors to create a bit of breathing space, but the heavier poorer condition vehicle parts stored outdoors did not seem to be wanted. Hopefully scrap prices will still be reasonable for a few more days. Sadly, stuff I have kept for years, like Guy axles, Morris engines gearboxes and axles, rusty fuel tanks and radiators are only valued by me, so will go to the razor blade factory.

There were calls for the event to be repeated, so we will be giving serious thought to something the same next year.

Our next event is our annual August event…

Cobbaton Combat VJ Weekend 13h & 14th August 2011

We are organising our annual gathering of military vehicles, enthusiasts, living history and collectors to commemorate VJ Day, remember the “Forgotten Army“, and the real end of the Second World War.


Held on land at the Collection there will be displays of military vehicles and equipment, militaria stalls, and re-enactors from various periods from WW1 onwards, and it is hoped local Burma Star Veterans will be present both days.


Open to the public from 10.00 till 5.00 each day, entry to the event is free, but there will be plenty of opportunity to make a donation towards the welfare of local Burma Star Veterans.


We have plenty of camping space, and exhibitors are welcome to camp from Friday 12th onward. We hope to have a BBQ Saturday evening, and invite exhibitors for what we hope will be another friendly, laid back weekend.


The Collection and NAAFI will be open as usual over the weekend.


For more details, or to book a pitch phone call 01769 540740, or email












COBBATON  CLEAROUT  Militaria Market - Sunday 1st May 2011


On May 1st this year we will be celebrating 30 years since we first opened to the public, and have decided this is worth commemorating.

Sunday the 1st we will be holding what we have called the Cobbaton Clearout, in essence a Militaria Market. We have been hoarding just too many spares, reserve collection items, vehicles, equipment and various bits and pieces, and are sorting out a serious quantity to put up for sale. We are also inviting others, either dealers or individuals with unwanted military bits, to join us. Pitches for sellers are only £5.00, and public entry to the sale will be free, so come and join us.






For more details, or to book a pitch phone call 01769 540740, or email








21 Jan 2011

Probably calling this a “News Page” was a bit of wishful thinking when I realise the last time this page was updated !

This winter we decided to make some changes around the museum. We have moved the Naafi truck in order to create a dedicated seating area for Naafi customers. As well as the Morrison Table Shelter, we now have some real tables, and chairs for our customers. The shop is also having a bit of a re-vamp, so for those who have been before they may notice the changes.

Part of the spur for this activity is our forthcoming thirtieth anniversary on May 1st. We are quite proud to have survived this long, and are having a bit of a bash on May 1st and 2nd. As we finalise plans I shall hopefully get details onto this page



On August 14th and 15th we held our annual Military Vehicle Trust Devon Area Cobbaton Combat VJ Weekend. The weather on Saturday was a bit worrying, with showers travelling around the area, but we escaped most of them. We had an excellent turnout of some 40 vehicles, with some rarer exhibits turning up. The barbecue and bonfire went well, with no excessive use of the toilets afterwards. Praise must go to two of our Dutch friends who travelled all the way from the Netherlands for the event.

The Sunday saw even more vehicles turn up. A sadly diminishing  group of Burma star Veterans attended the little wreath laying ceremony at our Burma Veterans memorial, when those present paid their respects to all who served in that theatre of operations during WW2.


In total the weekend raised around £400.00 for the welfare of local Burma Star Veterans.



The Jeep made another pilgrimage to Normandy for the 2010 D-Day Comemorations, this time travelling with just one Humber “Box”, and no great convoys. The 110 Land Rover which saw action in a previous instalment of Dr Who, was called out of retirement to take a small part in Casualty.



November  2009


A little out of sequence, but firstly I see no mention was made in the last update about the Normandy Tour in June 2009 - this year being the 65th Anniversary of D-Day. Preston’s party made it in the Jeep, with only a couple of “minor” hitches along the way – first of which was the bombshell (the day before departure) regarding export licences for privately owned ex-military vehicles. It seems these are required even if the vehicles are only going for a week’s holiday – but a satisfactory arrangement for all those travelling was reached in time. The second spanner in the works was the Jeep’s half-shaft breaking BEFORE making it onto the ferry. They managed to reach the Utah campsite on the front axle, where some knights in olive armour helped to strip and repair it. I’m told the rest of the tour was relatively stress-free and enjoyable.


In spite of all the doom and gloom forecasts, the October half-term holiday gave us better than expected numbers visiting the collection – in fact the whole season has been much busier than any of us could have hoped given the gloomy predictions at the start of the year.


Now, nearly into December, though we are not officially open we do say that if there are staff here (which there are some days), we can open – if you’re planning a visit please phone first just to make sure.



Tim made his annual trip to Arnhem for the 65th Anniversary of “Operation Market Garden”, this time in a Land Rover carrying WWII bicycles for himself, Rob and Barry.




This year we luckily escaped the traditional Cobbaton August monsoon. Some very light drizzle, but mostly very good rally weather, saw the largest turnout for some years, with over 40 vehicles and displays. It was good to see regulars return again, but this year we welcomed several new faces, and some regulars arrived with fresh vehicles. I am told there were some bargains on the stalls, but I was too busy to have a proper look before the vultures got there !

On Saturday we had a very good public attendance, but Sunday had by far the best exhibitor turnout. We had displays ranging from 17th Century through WW1, WW2, and Post War kit up to CVRT and a cold climate wading Wolf. The US Army in Vietnam, British Arctic warfare, a recently released Russian Gaz 66 truck, a Women’s Land Army display,  and some radio controlled model tanks on manoeuvres, were some of the themes.


On Sunday we had the usual wreath laying at our Burma memorial plaque, and we managed to raise a useful sum of money for the welfare of local Burma Star veterans.

We hope all the exhibitors enjoyed their weekend, and we thank them for all the effort they put into the event, and hope we will see them again next year.




Feb 2009

The cold weather this winter has been a bit of a shock. It’s a good job Tim insists on putting in antifreeze when whenever a cooling system need re filling, even in the summer.
Tim, Rob Miller and the Willys made the Arnhem trip ok last September, along with Dick Eva and his Austin Tilly and his passenger, Rob’s father Barry. I think in total they knocked up around 1,000 miles, as they went via Dunkirk, and crossed the German border on their way back.
The Sherman bits are still awaiting collection, somewhere in Belgium, and as yet we have not managed to source the three suspension units which are essential to starting the restoration.
We are now into the Spring Half Term week, and the weather is playing it’s part, drier a bit warmer. We have had a major dusting session in the Home Front building, and the concrete floor has been treated with floor paint in the hope of cutting down the amount of dust. Tim bought some shelving from Barnstaple’s Woolworths, so our shop area has had a bit of a revamp. Quite amazing the treasures we found hiding under the piles of stock !
The T34 is looking like it has been playing in the mud, which it did for a day whilst filming here with Grenada a few weeks ago. The field is looking a bit of a mess as well !


August Bank Holiday weekend 2008


Here we are at the end of August, and wondering what has happened to summer ?

The pretty grim weather has meant we have been busy, but it has not been an enjoyable summer, with lots of shows cancelled or seriously affected.

I had a good run with the Jeep up to the MVT show at Kemble. With three people on board, and all tents , food and kit, it did seem a tad crowded when travelling., but we thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

For various reasons I finished up attending the War and Peace show with the Land Rover 110 which we used when filming for the Dr. Who series. The Sankey trailer we towed was useful for delivery items we had sold, and bringing back the results of my spending there. Another very enjoyable week.

Earlier this year we bought a Sankey Field Cooking Unit No4 Mk2 , a wonderful apparatus ! Based on a Sankey ¾ ton wide track trailer chassis, it has two ovens, four large fixed burners, and two demountable burner units, and came with all the dixies, dishes, knives and kitchen tools anyone could want, including a giant commercial tin opener. This unit was christened at the MVT Buckfastleigh show, when a team of us cooked breakfasts for about 100 hungry exhibitors, plus jacket spuds in the evening.


In spite of a pretty dire weather forecast, at least we managed to hold our VJ event, one of the very few August shows in the area which was not cancelled due to the weather. Sadly the combination of the weather, the “credit crunch”, and rising fuel prices severely reduced the number of MV’s attending on the Saturday. A slight improvement in the weather on Sunday saw more MV’s arrive, and several MVT members turned up in their cars to swell the numbers, including some of our Cornish brethren from far off Penryn. Participants in the Vietnam display came from as far a field as London and the Isle of Wight. Sunday stayed dry long enough for Rob Miller to take down and pack up his new toy, one of the 18’ x 24 tents, which had provided sterling service as a communal shelter from the elements.

There was a good range of items on the stalls, with some very tasty items being sold, ranging from items of WW1 British leather equipment to modern British and US kit. An interesting display of bicycles and Prisoner of War memorabilia was set up by Philip Jenkinson, who, as a shot down bomber crewman, spent several years in German PoW camps. Post war British vehicles were well represented, with something approaching a Land Rover Fest, 9 vehicles ranging from an arctic 109, LWT, 2 Series 3 LWB, 109 ambulance, a 110, a 109 “gunship in desert paint scheme, and a pair of Wolves (one a prototype) down from Gloucester. A Champ and 3 Ferrets represented the Rolls B Series engined vehicles whilst a Bantam Jeep, a nice Morris C8 with an unusual power plant, and a Norton carried the WW2 flag.

Tim had a couple of days filming for Sarah Jane Adventures, and is now looking forward to his annual trip to Arnhem for the Market Garden Commemorations. I am hoping to go to Okehampton Camp in September for the Dartmoor Military Heritage weekend.


Our Sherman spares are still awaiting collection in Holland, hopefully later this year, and we hope to be able to winch the tank off the picnic area and start work on it this winter.


We have a lot of ideas for alterations both outside and inside, with plans to re-vamp the shop. It remains to be seen how much we achieve.


Now let's hope we get an Indian Summer !






June 2008


At last after owning the Willys MB for almost two years Tim has been to Norway with it, and Arnhem twice, and at last I have taken it to a show ! This was over the late Spring Bank Holiday weekend, at the MVT Trucks and Troops Show at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. This was a great event, but the rain on Sunday night and Monday morning certainly put a damper on things. Driving a vehicle with no sides does raise a few problems when it rains, but one must be optimistic and hope it does not rain too much.

We now own a ton or so of Sherman spares which a friend on the continent has sourced for us. Hopefully he may be able to bring them over when we meet up at the War and peace Show in July.

The tourist season has now started, but with increasing fuel costs and a general feeling of financial unease among many people, this may not be a bumper year for the tourist industry. Another plug for VJ Weekend this year on August 16th and 17th and let's hope the weather will be a little kinder this year.

I am aiming to take the Willys to the MVT Victory Show at Kemble Airfield on June 27 / 28 and 29.

Again I hope the weather will be reasonable for the trip up.



Feb 2008


I seem to have neglected updating this page for some time, I guess too much to do, and too little time.

It is a time of change here, with the Seddon Atkinson and trailer sold. The Crane Fruehauf trailer has gone to Vienna to go behind a Federal tractor unit, and the Seddon is going to a local collector. As yet we are undecided as to what sort of transporter to replace it with. After being towed out of the mud at a few shows, the idea of a 4x4 or 6x4 with a Hiab seems attractive. After the Health & Safety ban on kids climbing on our M4A1 Sherman it has seemed a bit of a waste to let it just stand there, so right or wrong, we have decided to attempt a restoration job on it ! I know it will turn out to be much more of a job than we hope, but with the rising values of Sherman's something must be done with it. We have started buying some of the major components we will need, and possibly when the ground is dry and hard later this year we may try to get it off the play area.

Back in November Tim had a few days with Land Rovers, filming for Dr Who. He also took a selection of our prize stock (or junk ) depending on one's viewpoint to the November Malvern. We also had a stall at Stoneleigh Militaria 2009. I am not sure if it is the potential sales or the social aspect of these events which is most important ? It certainly is nice to meet up with friends old and new.

Those of us who own de-activated guns, again seem in danger of becoming the Government's target in the fight against gun crime. All of us want to see an end to gun crime, but penalising owners of de-activated guns would not seem to be the greatest priority. This government do not seem to recognise the difference between legally de-activated and Home Office certified guns owned by collectors, and live guns, illegally imported into the country, by criminals, for use by criminals.

Thanks to the website and the wonders of our Streamline card terminal, during the winter months we do sell quite a bit, but with the half term school holidays starting we are now seeing a few visitors coming out of hibernation, and very welcome they are too.

We have fixed the date for our VJ Weekend this year, and it will be August 16th and 17th. Again all military vehicles and displays are welcome, and hopefully we will manage to raise some funds for the local Burma Star Veterans.


Hopefully I will manage to get to some shows this year, but what vehicles to take will have to be decided when a few more decisions regarding transport are sorted.





Our VJ Weekend August 18/19th 2007


Like so many events this year, the rain had a detrimental effect on the weekend. With a poor forecast, which was actually on the optimistic side, quite a few exhibitors did not leave home. After a season of being rained on, who can blame them ! However we still had a decent mix of vehicles and displays, with old faithfulls and a few new faces. Being hardy Dartmoor folk, the Cheesman’s as usual were travelling in their Ford GPW without side screens.

We had two very smart Ferrets, and Dave Smale from Dinscott provided a tracked presence with his immaculate CVRT. It almost seemed a shame to see the mud spraying up over it as he left. Shane Lock and Abbie had their Bedford OY, and the Small family left their Humbers at home and brought their K2 Ambulance. Motorbikes by BSA, Norton and James were present.

The Land Rover family were well represented, and one must assume that Graham Holding, with his new toy, an Officer’s Land Rover Carawagon, sees himself as potential officer material !


Brian and Chris Perry brought along the sweet little pre war 37mm Bofors Anti Tank gun which we had previously de-activated for them. Ralph Daniel’s Kubel was in our workshop, where Tim had been fitting a new exhaust system, so we persuaded Ralph to take it out in the rain, for a spot of posing with the 37mm. It certainly looked a very pretty little combination. Ralph now wants a gun like that !

We had an excellent display of firearms, and a first for us was the Burma based display of “The Forgotten Tommies”, very much in keeping with out VJ theme. Our First War Tommy was heard muttering about getting trench foot, and one stall tent collapsed and died during the stormy night, just another typical 2007 show.

The wartime British spirit showed through however, and visitors in the museum drowned out the roar of the rain on the roof and sang along with Arthur Cook and Leslie in their ENSA persona as “Blitz and Peaces”.

However, the real star of the event was Rob Miller’s 36 feet of tent, giving shelter for the Burma Veterans and some stall holders by day, and keeping the barbecue revellers dry on Saturday night.


Thanks to everyone who turned up, we still managed to raise some funds for the Burma veterans.


JULY 2007


The Seddon with our fresh trailer had it's first outing taking the Daimler Armoured Car to the Household Cavalry Parade on Horse Guards Parade on June 12th . This was the first outing for our recently acquired Daimler A/C, and it needed much more work than the new silencer and quick respray we planned. One of the exhaust manifolds was broken, and a carburettor was leaking petrol onto the break. At last two carb overhaul kits were sourced, then just when we were faced with a very difficult welding repair on the broken manifold, I almost literally tripped over one I had forgotten I had ! Tim said the Daimler performed well, and he was”commanded” by Tim Richardson in the turret. Also in the parade was our last Daimler A/C which I had recently sold to Paul Hannon

Suffering from some virus, I had to miss the MVT Kemble Show, so the first show I got to was the MVT Buckfastleigh War on the Line weekend, and that was just the Saturday. Dai Reese and I travelled down in time to start cooking breakfasts at 07.00.


Rob Miller and I attended Beltring with the C9B and Rob's C8 AT. Rain and mud may be good for the atmosphere at Glastonbury, but it does nothing for a military vehicle show. With mud everywhere, and collapsing bridges, we were towed off site by a WW2 Mack Recovery owned by Lucas, one of the Dutch group we were camping with.


A last minute plug for our event this weekend.


Cobbaton Combat Collection

Military Vehicle Trust Devon, VJ Weekend

August 18 /19 2007


Saturday and Sunday, August 18th & 19th

Military vehicles and Living History, plus stalls.

10 am till 5 pm.




JUNE 2007


Well, after almost a year's preparation, the Willys finally went to Norway with Denny Thompson's Tour. It's only problem was a bit of trouble with the dynamo regulator, which was overcome. The biggest humbug was the fact that the week before departure I did my back, so could not get into the thing, let alone drive it, so Tim had to take my place. I understand they had a most interesting trip. I hear talk of another in 2010, so I must try to keep fit for that one !



Cobbaton Combat Collection

Military Vehicle Trust Devon, VJ Weekend

August 18 /19 2007


Saturday and Sunday, August 18th & 19th

Military vehicles and Living History, plus stalls.

10 am till 5 pm.



Cobbaton Combat Collection, in conjunction with the Devon Area of the Military Vehicle Trust, are again organising a gathering of enthusiasts and collectors to commemorate VJ Day, and show gratitude to the “the forgotten army”, the men and women of the Burma Campaign.

A laid back gathering of enthusiasts and collectors, with displays of military vehicles and equipment, re-enactors from various periods WW1 onwards, and militaria stalls. Local Members of the Burma Star Association should be present. All profits to local Burma Star Veterans.

The Collection will be open as usual.







APRIL 2007


Easter is upon us, with some very pleasant weather. The Willys is still being worked on, fuel problems, exhaust problems, one day I should get to the end of the problems, hopefully in time for Norway !

The 17 Pdr is now looking very good in a new coat of paint, after a going over with the needle gun.

We have bought a fresh tandem axle trailer for the Seddon Atkinson artic. There are a few jobs to do on it, including fitting a winch, but it should look very good, and will certainly give us a lot more carrying ability.





FEB 2007


Half Term holidays are upon us, and a welcome start to the 2007 season. It certainly is nice to have some visitors coming in. We have been busy since the end of the season proper last October, with much time spent working on the Willys MB Jeep we acquired last year. At last I think we have got it ready for the road, with a new steering box, overhauled gearbox and transfer box, new master cylinder, ampmeter, oil pressure gauge, complete exhaust system, a rear prop shaft universal joint, hand brake cable, and innumerable smaller items. At the end of May I am booked to take it on a trip to Norway organised by Denny Thompson, so I hope we have got it right.


The 17 Pdr has also had a lot of attention, and now most seized parts have been freed up. After getting the last few of the larger parts of the trail moving it will just remain to needle gun off the rust, prime and paint. It has been quite a relief to find how complete the gun is, as finding parts for it would be very difficult.


Today the Diamond T 975A left us for Suffolk, following an exchange deal with a collector there.








JULY 2006.


Below is a Press Release I sent out when our Irish Ford MkVI Armoured Car went back to Ireland. I could have saved my time as not one of the local papers or TV stations did anything with it ! I think most local papers are more interested in making a half page spread about the latest foal / goat kid / baby rabbit / fluffy chicks / baby lamb / etc etc born on some local animal park. And guess what ? They don't know what to call it ! Could readers please write in with suggestions ?


Getting newspaper coverage for something which could remind people of the human cost of the “freedom” we now enjoy is difficult. The big anniversaries of VE Day, VJ Day etc. they all print special souvenir supplements, but to cover what I think is a newsworthy story, but without some gimic or touchy feely angle, nobody wants to know.


That is my Grumpy Old Man bit over !


An ongoing reminder for our VJ event;

Following our successful 2005 August VJ Weekend held in conjunction with the Devon Area of the Military Vehicle Trust it was decided to run it again in 2006, on August 19th and 20th. The local North Devon Branch of the Burma Star Association have decided that due to the advancing age of all their members, they will close down the Branch on August 15th (VJ Day). However, as many as possible will still attend our event, and as last year, entry to the VJ event will be free, but there will be the opportunity to make a donation towards their welfare fund. Sadly, time is running out on these opportunities to thank the last of the “Forgotten Army”. The collection will be open as usual over the weekend.


Second World War Irish Armoured Car goes home.


In the early nineteen seventies, Preston Isaac, an agricultural contractor from Cobbaton, near Barnstaple, added to his growing collection of military vehicles with the purchase of an armoured car of unknown origin.


Research found it to be an Irish Ford Mk VI Armoured Car built in 1941. It was one of 4 remaining from a batch of 28 built in Ireland in 1941, on imported American truck chassis. In 1961, eleven of these vehicles were airlifted to the Congo as the armoured part of the Irish UN contingent. The Armoured Cars had been slightly modified to cope with the change to operating in the tropics, and amazingly considering the age of the vehicles, in 1964 six of them were still running and handed over to the Congolese Army.


Possibly to everyone’s surprise, the Fords had acquitted themselves exceptionally well, due to the bravery and skill of the crews. However, full credit must go to the Army mechanics, whose amazing feats kept these aged vehicles running, and in conditions so different from their homeland.


In 1981 Preston opened the Cobbaton Combat Collection, near Chittlehampton, to put on show to the public the result of his lifetimes hoarding. It has now been open for 25 years and as is the way with compulsive collectors, it is still growing.


The Ford was the subject of a detailed write up in a reference book on Irish Army Vehicles by Karl Martin, but has always been a core “not for sale” part of the collection. When approached recently by the National Museum of Ireland looking to borrow or buy the Ford, the answer was “no“. The Ford was wanted for a new museum complex in Dublin, as a major part of a display to cover the Irish involvement in the Congo operations, and after some thought, it began to look logical for it to go “back home”.


The offer of a 1942 British 17Pdr Anti Tank gun, sold to the Irish Army after the war, as an exchange for the Ford, meant Cobbaton Combat Collection would have a replacement with Irish connections. The 17 Pdr was the ultimate British A/T gun of WW2, but now a very rare piece in private ownership in the UK. This gun will fit in well with the other pieces of WW2 artillery at Cobbaton.


The Morris C9B went to the MVT show at Exbury Gardens, and the National MVT show at Kemble. The White Scout Car is booked to go to the MVT Buckfastleigh weekend July 8th & 9th, and later in July the C9B should be out again for Beltring.





Phone us on 01769 540740    Fax us on 01769 540141
e-mail us at

Visit our website at
Or visit the collection and shop at Cobbaton, Chittlehampton,
Umberleigh, North Devon, EX37 9RZ.