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U.S. wartime billets mystery solved

Nissen huts on Hockey Lane Estate
Nissen huts on Hockey Lane Estate were the home for military personnel working at various local aircraft establishments. NMLHS archive
A family from Welwyn Garden City has found the site of wartime billets in Brookmans Park occupied by American forces thanks to the North Mymms Local History Society.

Family members had made several trips to the area to try to find the location of the second world war accommodation without success. The father in the family remembered meeting his brother, who was an American serviceman, at the site during the war.

He remembered that there was a large building at the end of a long driveway. But despite lengthy searches he was unable to jog his memory. In the end his daughter e-mailed this site asking for help.

Now the local history society's secretary and archivist, Marian Benton, has dug into the archives and found details of a number of locations used by Americans.

Nissen huts on Hockey Lane Estate
The Nissen huts on Hockey Lane Estate were later used as temporary homes for families on the waiting list for houses in the new Hatfield Town. NMLHS archive

According to John Harris, the society’s membership secretary, North Mymms House and Hatfield House were both used as allied military hospitals during WW2.

Approximately 50 Nissen huts were built in the grounds of North Mymms House which were used for kitting out ATS personnel before they were drafted to the Middle East and also as local accommodation for military personnel working at local aircraft establishments.

After the war, what was known as the Hockey Lane Estate was taken over by the council as temporary accommodation in order that local people could be put on the permanent housing waiting lists for the new Hatfield Town. The site was sold off in the late 50’s.

To find the site of the old Hockey Lane Estate head for St Mary's Church, drive over the bridge but continue straight on when the road turns to the right and the foundations of the Hockey Lane Estate can be seen in the fields to the left of that road.

January 8, 2001

Related Item
Mystery of U.S wartime billets - January 5, 2001


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