Hardwick Hall

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Drew5233, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I took a look around at old double deckers and got lost very quickly. Are you hinting it was built by a local manufacturer? Your bus has front door entry and distinctive styling around the lower windows. Perhaps it's somewhere on the "Old Bus Photos" site. Crosselly may have made front entry buses but haven't run across one yet.

    Regards ...
  2. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Ran by Barton Transport from just over the border in Nottinghamshire.
  3. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    I see - thought Barton might have been a destination marker. There are some good leads on the Wikipedia page for Barton Transport. So possibly a Leyland bus or coachwork by Duple on a Leyland chassis?

    Regards ...
  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I came across your double decker on Old Bus Photos and Pinterest. A quote from Ken Thompson:

    "Barton Transport's first new double deckers after the war were delivered in 1947/8. They were Leyland Titan PD1s with beautifully designed Duple bodies. These vehicles gave many years of reliable service and became something of a legend in bus circles."

    A photo by Rob Hancock.

    Barton Transport Bus  - Photo R. Hancock.jpg

    Regards ...
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  5. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    A post-war photo but very interesting. Posted to the Facebook Group about the Airborne Depot and Resettlement Camp by Michael. His Grandad was in the Polish 7 Pułk Pancerny (7th Armoured Regiment), part of the Polish 2nd Corps. The regiment's return from Italy to the UK took place in three transports, the last of which arrived on July 22, 1946. The regiment was deployed to the Hardwick Hall camp.
    Michael's Grandad is on the right. Clearly taken at Hardwick with the Parachute Regiment emblem but seems the sign on the door strategically covers the King's Crown!
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  6. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    I think that was likely a dorm last occupied (whilst the war was still on) by French parachutistes.

    Kind regards, always,

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
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  7. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Hi Jim

    You're probably right and I've been told they snapped the King's Crown off. There are a few images on the net with the Free French cross soldered onto the Para badge.
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  8. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Another photo posted on the Facebook group by Jill. A group of Polish soldiers. The Camp was still run on a military basis for the first couple of years until the soldiers' families were allowed into the UK.
    Jill Jassa 2.jpg

    This could be early 1947 when it snowed every day some where in the UK from January 22nd to March 17th. These 'old' photos have been shared for the first time and are probably the only ones showing views in the Camp.
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  9. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Here's a Parachute Regiment badge with a cross of Lorraine attached found on an auction site.

    WW2 Free French (Cross of Lorraine) Para Regt Badge.jpg

    The French Airborne did have their own distinct insignia. They also wore British jump wings or SAS insignia if qualified. I haven't as yet come across any evidence of them at Hardwick Depot. There is a film with scenes of the French at Ringway and Tatton Park on Youtube. I was hopeful for a moment with the photos on this site until I took a closer look at the jump tower.

    Regards ...
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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Glen,

    I wasn't aware that the Hardwick Depot training photos were catalogued on the IWM site. This particular series runs from H22973 to H23030, 57 photos total. They were all taken by Lt. O'Brien on September 17th, 1942. Many of them we have discussed earlier in thread. I'll attach the series description and a few other index photos that were new to me.

    H 22973-2.png H 22980-1.png H 23007-1.png H 23012-1.png

    H 23015-1.png H 23018-1.png H 23026-1.png

    Just ignore if already familiar with the group.

    Regards ...
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  11. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Hi Chuck

    I wasn't aware either and photos I've never seen. I tried to look for them on the site but couldn't get there with the filters.

    Great work!
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  12. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Going back to the bus photo, I think I've the position in this 'now' photo.
    Stood at the 'B' location you can see School Wood in the distance. The small tree to the left is roughly how far the buildings went up Broadoak Hill
    Another photo contributed to the Facebook Group by a lady who was a girl at the Camp.
    Bozena Hitchmough - Copy.jpg
    This is on the main road to the Hall. The lady said her dad used one of the garages to the left. These were built later and I think this was taken close to where the bus was. You can see the fence to the right and the huts behind.

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  13. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Another nice photo and it's great to see the line of huts to middle right as you say. I'm not completely sure but the one little girl appears to be wearing a Pegasus brooch ... :)

    Regards ...
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  14. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I stumbled across another small set of 8 Hardwick photos (H 22840 - 47). They were taken in August 1942 and will most probably be familiar to you. They include shots of dentistry, the air sickness swing, night vision tests, electrical massage and more of men engaged in parachute control training. None show exterior views of camp buildings unfortunately. I'll attach a couple.

    H 22840-1.png H 22847-1.png

    Hopefully more will turn up.

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  15. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member


    I have seen the photos mentioned before but thanks anyway. The one with the air sickness frame had been cropped and included on the 'Welcome to Hardwick' sign at the entrance to the park.
    H 23012-1.png
    This log training is in a different location to a previous one as you can see the Row Ponds in the background.
    Location-Log Training.jpg
    Red circles are the five trees that are still there and blue rectangle is where the guys are in front of the building in the photo. The Row Ponds are to the bottom. The white circle is the location of the ice house.
    06a Log Training.jpg
    This locates this previous photo as the photographer is now facing the opposite direction. I think he must have taken a pair of step ladders with him!
    Interesting why this small building sits a distance away from others.

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  16. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Your second log lifting photo above has been cropped. Lt O'Brien is actually shooting the elevated scenes from the roof of the small building you point out. There are two that are very similar in which he captured the building's gutter as he shoots scene below. The row of log lifters are at a slight angle to side wall of building. Hopefully not too obsessive with regard details ... :)

    H 23009-1.png H 23010-1.png

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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  17. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    A 'then and now' comparison.
    H 23018-1.png H 23018-1 now.jpg
    Taken yesterday. The field to your right as you approach Blingsby Gate. The field was called 'Blingsbie' on a 1610 map by William Senior commissioned by William Cavendish, Bess of Hardwuck's son. It's thought Blingsby is a long lost Medieval village. Bit of history trivia for you!
    I've about got the tree line but I think the photographer was further in the field and in a elevated position and the wheat in the field is about three feet high. There is a straight hedge line which you can't see at this angle and now we have the lovely M1 which drones away as you walk around the park!

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  18. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    It looks like Blingsby field was a busy place. The ten parachute training photos were shot in a variety of directions. I think the jump tower shows up to middle left behind the far off oak in poor quality photo below.

    H 23030-1.png

    Or I could be seeing things again?

    Regards ....
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  19. BruceLee230

    BruceLee230 Active Member

    Been a while!
    Decided to look for the Commonwealth War Graves in Ault Hucknall Churchyard on the outskirts of the Hardwick Estate. There are two but one does say 'Airborne'.
    WP_20210217_14_19_41_Pro.jpg 1946.02.15 06 - Copy.jpg
    The following account uses info from The War Dead of North Down & Ards website and The Derbyshire Times.

    Henry (Harry) Oliver was born on 21 January 1920 in Newtownards, Northern Ireland. He was the second youngest of at least ten children

    Harry Oliver’s father served in the South African War and was severely wounded. His uncles served with Army and Navy during the First World War and his brother George served with the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Belfast.

    Harry Oliver joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry two years before the outbreak of war. He served in India before returning to the UK in the early part of the war. He volunteered for service with the Airborne Battalion and later becoming a corporal instructor at the Airborne Forces Depot, Hardwick. He was severely injured as the result of a parachute jump and after a period in hospital, he was discharged from the Army in September 1944 with a disability pension. Harry became a clerk at Bilsthorpe Colliery. During this time he underwent a series of operations, the last of which was in December 1945.

    Whilst at Hardwick he met local girl Audrey Lillian Heath from Glapwell, Derbyshire. They were married in the first quarter of 1943 in the Parish of Ault Hucknall (St. John the Baptist) and they had a son named Kenneth whose birth was registered in the third quarter of 1944 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. They lived on Rowthorne Lane, Glapwell.

    After an illness of twelve weeks Corporal Harry Oliver (No. 5383218) was 26 when he died in Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derbyshire on 7 February 1946. He was buried in Ault Hucknall (St. John the Baptist) Churchyard Extension.

    After Harry died, Lilian Oliver remarried and became Lilian Wright.

    Lilian Wright (formerly Oliver, nee Heath) died at the age of 78 and was buried in the same grave as Harry Oliver.

    Kenneth Oliver married Pauline Caufield and moved to Lincolnshire.

    There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:





    He was one of about 200 who married local women and that's why he's buried there having stayed local.

    Such a sad story but as the photo shows the grave is beautifully looked after.

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