Sale of historic British Old War Office on anvil

December 26th, 2007 - 5:13 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 26 (ANI): The trapezium shaped British Old War Office building, which is situated in the heart of London would soon be sold as part of the Defence Ministry’s cost cutting exercise.
Built almost a century ago, the War Office on Horse Guards Avenue in Whitehall is replete with historical events that included its importance during the First World War when Lord Kitchener received all war-related developments at a desk here.
The Defence Ministry, which has been under cost cutting pressure from the treasury, will be selling the neo-Baroque building that also houses a web of underground tunnels that connect to strategic places in the city.
The building is expected to fetch a whopping 35 million pounds in the open market, but the security aspect may deter its sale to a private owner.
“Indeed, the security aspects could yet persuade the Ministry of Defence (MoD) not to put the building on the open market,” The Telegraph reported.
The document titled, ‘Old War Office Building: Exit Strategy’ lists the reason for keeping the building under the section of “Retain Benefit of Tunnels.” “That appears to be a reference to the passages under Whitehall that are believed to connect various secure sites including the MoD’s main building and Downing Street,” the daily stated.
Secretaries of state for war and senior staff officers used the building until the MoD was created in 1964. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was based there between 1919 and 1921. Kitchener and Lloyd George worked there as war minister and munitions minister during the First World War.
It now houses secretive Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS). (ANI)

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