During the Second World War, Leadenporch House was home to Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart and his family. `Hobo' was one of the most talented tank tacticians in the British army. Before the war he developed a new theory of mobile armoured warfare that found little favour with his superiors but was adopted enthusiastically by the new German Panzer commanders. In 1938 he was posted to Egypt, where he trained the 7th Armoured Division, which went on to find fame as the Desert Rats. His career then took a disastrous turn when he was placed on the retired list after falling foul of his superior officers (cavalrymen who saw his steadfast belief in the importance of the tank as "instability"). It was during nearly a year of frustrating employment as a lance-corporal (and then area co-ordinator) in the Local Defence Volunteers that Hobart moved to Deddington before being recalled to active duty by Churchill in October 1940.
After his reinstatement Hobart raised and trained a new armoured division (the 11th, the Black Bulls) but before he could command them in action he was reassigned to raise the 79th Armoured Division. Its role was to devise and procure specialised armour to overcome the natural and man-made hazards likely to be encountered on the Normandy beaches. Hobart's `funnies', as his swimming tanks, flame-throwers, minefield flails etc. were known, were used extensively on D-Day and subsequently on crossings of the Rhine and the Elbe. General Eisenhower later said that without them it was doubtful whether a bridgehead would ever have been established on D-Day.
Hobart retired from the Army in 1946 and became Lieutenant-Governor and Secretary of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea in 1948, when it is thought he moved away from Deddington. He died in 1957.