This house was
the 47th Infantry Regt.
United States Army
1943 to D-Day 6th June 1944
reads the plaque beside the hanging basket of flowers. The officers who lived and worked here must have been delighted to occupy this beautiful Georgian house for a few months. But what about the other ranks – where did they live?
There was a camp of pre-fabricated huts where the mobile home park in The Dean is today. The GIs would have called them ‘Quonset huts’. The brick-built office is believed to have been the American cook house, and I think Hambone Junior must have known it well. Firstly, he was named after one of the army cooks and secondly, he was run over by a truck in The Dean. Let’s hope he enjoyed plenty of titbits whilst he lived there.
The Old Post House (Broad Street), the Old Perins Building (Shapla Tandoori), the offices over Wessex Pharmacy and parts of The Sun (now a private house in East Street) were also requisitioned.
Further out of town, Titchbourne Park was a major hutted camp, as was The Grange at Northington. A friend has told me that officers from the camp at Northington were billeted in the cottages at Abbotstone. The Grange itself was the headquarters of the 9th Division. On 24th March 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill held a meeting with General Eisenhower and General Omar Bradley in the ballroom at The Grange – only the best Greek Revival architecture for the top brass.
- Alresford around D-Day, 6th June 1944, Colin Metcalfe
- History of the Grange at Northington, English Heritage
- Quonset Huts