The other day the Daily Mail reported a well-known tale from this episode:
The effects of the expulsion were felt in rural Shropshire.
In 1966, upon being told that Charles de Gaulle had taken France out of NATO and that all U.S. troops must be evacuated from French soil, President Lyndon Johnson told Secretary of State Dean Rusk: 'Ask him about the cemeteries, Dean!'
So, at end of the meeting, Dean asked de Gaulle if his order to remove all U.S. troops from French soil also included the 60,000 plus soldiers buried in France from World War I and World War II. De Gaulle never answered.
In 1939, as war loomed, the Admiralty had constructed a vast armaments depot at Ditton Priors in the remote country behind Brown Clee. It lasted until 1965, and the following year it was reopened to house American forces who had left France. They stayed only until 1968.
Today the site of the depot is partly occupied by an industrial estate, but there are remains to explore. And if you approach the area from the country end - along the trackbed of the Cleobury Mortimer & Ditton Priors Light Railway - you are still met by a forest of minatory signs.
So I tried the only bed and breakfast place in the village. They said they were full and made no effort to find me a bed somewhere else in Ditton Priors. Instead, they suggested I should walk to Burwarton. "It's only a mile," they said, when I could see from the map that it was three.
Eventually I arrived at the Boyne Arms. The landlady said they did not do bed and breakfast, but eventually she took pity on me and gave me a bed for the night. In any case, a couple I met in the bar were all for driving me to Bridgnorth, where there is plenty of accommodation. (West Midlanders are the friendliest people I know.)
I once read that they were still persecuting witches in this part of Shropshire until relatively recently.
About 1978, I should imagine.
Photo borrowed from Subterranea Britannica.