A UNIQUE scrapbook compiled by a Home Guard leader during the Second World War is due to be unveiled today.

The book, which contains top secret orders, letters and hand-drawn maps of the Beaulieu area, was put together by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Morgan Crofton.

His son, Major Edward Crofton, has donated it to the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA), which is researching the area’s role during the war.

Beaulieu was one of the most important parts of the Forest during the conflict.

Palace House, ancestral home of Lord Montagu, was a training base used by the Special Operations Executive, which worked behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied Europe.

And a nearby bridge over the Beaulieu River was a strategically important structure that was always heavily guarded.

An NPA spokesman said: “The scrapbook includes a hand-drawn map detailing how Beaulieu was turned into a defensive stronghold of pill boxes, road blocks and machine gun posts.

“Unlike Dad’s Army, the scrapbook also reveals how seriously the Home Guard took their role.”