A fascinating but little-known piece of British history. Faced with the probable invasion of the British Isles by Nazi Germany at the start of world War 2 the Coats Mission, formed from elements of the Guards and Household Cavalry, stood by with armoured cars to evacuate the King and Royal Family in the event of Britain being invaded. They were to escort the the Royal Family to the coast, where they would be taken to Canada, or to defend them against parachute troops. After the threat of invasion receded, the Coates Mission was switched to guard Churchill when on country breaks at Chequers, the British Prime Ministers' official country retreat. Due to secrecy the name 'Chequers' could never be mentioned, it was referred to as the 'Special Area' instead. The CO of the Mission was Jimmy Coats, and other officers included Ian Liddell (later a VC recipient) and Wilfrid Sydenham Thompson, both of the Coldstream Guards. One of the places where the Mission would stop in the event of evacuation was Pitchford, a country house in Shropshire. I was told about the Coats Mission many years ago by my Father, Jim Coates, (I must stress that my dad is NOT the CO of the Mission, the name is just a co-incidence). Dad was Coldstream Guards 1940-46. He had mentioned the mission and told me that a special pantechnicon (removals lorry) was fitted out as a living room, and that would be the Royal Family's transport in case of evacuation. He also said that they would have been taken to Holyhead in Anglesea where the RN would then have taken them to Canada to set up a court-in-exile. I only found out last night that my Dad was a part of the Coats Mission. I had posted Dad's paybook in the 'Family Military Photos' thread and also on the the Middlesbrough & District Coldstream Association website. I had mentioned that I wondered why my Dad never did overseas service, and why he never rose beyond a Lance-Jack during his service. 'Mac', the Admin of the website and himself ex-CG got in touch with me last night and told me that it was because he had been a part of the Coates Mission. So, 12 years after his death and 70-odd years after the event I've learned something new about my Father. I did know he spent time on guard at Buck House (Buckingham Palace) and Chequers. He was on the top of Buck House doing fire watch during the worst night of the blitz. He said that the whole of the eastern horizon was red with the fires from the East End docks. Sometime in 1941 he was also on stag in the the grounds of Chequers in the early hours of the morning when he saw a red glow come towards him. He knew it was a cigar glowing so he knew who was on the other end of it, but he had to do the 'halt - who goes there?' drill. He got the growled reply 'the Prime Minister'. Being at Buck House and Chequers now makes sense in light of what I have learned via Google (and there are only 2 pages of references to the Coats Mission). If anyone else has any info on the Coats Mission please post it. I'd be very grateful.