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Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

Article about: My dad went to hardwick hall after transfering from the royal scots, after passing this and para training at ringway he was posted to 6th AB div, 9th bat, C-coy

  1. #1

    Default Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Guys, any British soldier who volunteered (and they were all volunteers, lured no doubt by thought of action plus the extra 1 shilling a day in pay!) for Parachute training in WW2 was initially sent to Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield in Derbyshire for two weeks of toughning up training to see how fit they were. This helped to weed out those who were unsuitable. All training was done at the double. Most of the permenant staff NCO's were former Guardsmen. Once the two weeks were up those which had passed were sent to Ringway (now Manchester Airport) for actual Parachute training.

    The Hall itself is Elizabethan in date. The Hall today is managed by the National Trust. The troops themselves lived in Nissen huts in the grounds.

    The lake in the grounds was drained for cleaning a few years ago now. I am told that several hundred bicycles were found at the bottom. All stolen in Chesterfield by the prespective Para's after missing the last bus back to camp!

    Cheers, Ade.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Ady,
    Are there records anywhere of personnel who were trained at Hardwick Hall. My Grandfather probably went through there, he transfered to the Parachute Regiment from the 2nd Bt Royal Sussex Regiment. After emailing the Airborne forces museum at Duxford they informed me that he was on K Parachute Course at Ringway, he went from there to 2 Para. Probably as a BCR after Arnhem, no dates were given.
    Thanks Ady
    Steve
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Steve, sadly I think all the records from Hardwick Hall have gone, but there is a book being written about the depot.

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Ade , that`s an immpressive looking building and plaque ..........Al

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Ade,
    Have you any shots from back in 98 when we met at Grimsthorpe Castle ?

    Gary J.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Gary, no sadly I don't have any pics.

    For those of you that are not aware, Grimsthorpe Castle was the HQ of 1st Battl Parachute Regt in 1944.

    Hi Al, the Vets have a rememberance service there every May. I have been to several, but not since 2004. The problem is, it nearly always clashes with the XXI Pathfinders re-union which I attend every year.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #7
    JMANCKIY
    ?

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Ade,

    By chance do you have any details on the book being wirttien about the depot at Hardwick?

    Thank you,

    Johnnie

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Johnnie, welcome to the forum.

    I don't have any further details at present. The book has been in the pipeline for some years now. I have seen some of the photos research etc and it looks good. As soon as I know more, I will post it here. I will try and contact the author to find out more.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #9
    JMANCKIY
    ?

    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Hi Ade,

    Thank you, I would love to know more about the book. It sounds quite interesting. From what I have been able to find the wartime use of Hardwick is an interesting story. It will great to have a published history on it.

    I working on my history degree. I am very interested in country houses and their role during the war. That's how I learnt about Hardwick. I first became interested in country houses during the war years after reading John Martin Robinsons “The Country House at War”. It left me wanting to know more, but as I soon discovered there was not as much published information as I had hoped for. To me the war years are an important part of the house of country houses through out Britain, but this critical period is largely over looked in guidebooks and published histories of country houses.

    Thank you,

    Johnnie .

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hardwick Hall: the depot of the British Airborne Forces in WW2

    Jonnie,
    I presume you have checked out Audley End - station 43 (SOE).
    ..There is a book out covering this one.

    http://www.flipkart.com/station-43-i...084-s5w3f9fcdu

    Gary J.


    Quote by JMANCKIY View Post
    Hi Ade,

    Thank you, I would love to know more about the book. It sounds quite interesting. From what I have been able to find the wartime use of Hardwick is an interesting story. It will great to have a published history on it.

    I working on my history degree. I am very interested in country houses and their role during the war. That's how I learnt about Hardwick. I first became interested in country houses during the war years after reading John Martin Robinsons “The Country House at War”. It left me wanting to know more, but as I soon discovered there was not as much published information as I had hoped for. To me the war years are an important part of the house of country houses through out Britain, but this critical period is largely over looked in guidebooks and published histories of country houses.

    Thank you,

    Johnnie .

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