US Army in Lockerley, Hants 1944

Dunbridge (SU 3126)  a sleepy village in Hampshire, 200 metres South of the River Dun. In October 1943, was part of WW2's Operation BOLERO. Construction commenced, near the village of Lockerley (SU 2926), two miles to the west of Dunbridge, of a US Army depot which, when completed, consisted of fifteen miles of sidings and 134 sheds; Dunbridge was the connection to the SR main line from Eastleigh to Salisbury. In June 1938, the station yard, which, in the summer was associated with the movement of strawberries, handled 182 wagons - six years later, in June 1944, it was a focal point in operation OVERLORD and wagon movements peaked at 5,246!  By October 1944 supplies were being sent direct to France. The depot was behind St Johns Church off of East Tytherley Rd in the grounds of Lockerley Hall and Bentley Wood. After the US army left and a period of use by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps it closed in the 1950's and now nothing but slight earth disturbance remains. These photos (apart from last three) were taken by Capt. Duane M. Hart (photo left), commanding officer of the 820th Ordnance Base Depot Company during its assignments under Operation Bolero.  Many thanks to his grandson Jonathan Hart for scanning them and making them available.

 

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We have the names and photos of a number of US personnel below:

820th Ordnance Base Depot Company staff

J Bailey

T/4 Raymond Burns

Capt. Duane M Hart

Lt Miller

Norman Gault

Alden Purvis

PFC Richard Seager

PFC Victor Spencer

Sgt. Luther Dalrymple

Lt Abe Schwwartz

Pvt. Goldenstien

T/4 James Daniels

Cpt. George Johnson

T/4 Joe Srain

S/Sgt Roy Harrison

T/sgt.  Mitchell

T/4 Delbert Russ

Lt. Ralph Witt

T/4 "Pop" Coughlin

T/4 "TSgt David Francis

Pvt. Lieberman

PFC John Keegan

Maj. Robert C. Deppe

Lt Dave Goldman

Local history groups in Romsey are researching the camp and would love to hear from anyone who was stationed at the camp, or from any descendants of them. We would particularly like to learn more of Dave GOLDMAN who painted a number of murals on the walls of the huts. Make contact HERE

Your Letters

Vickilee Miller writes

My father was Alden Purvis stationed in Lockerley during WWII. Thank you for preserving the information that you have. I guess working in a supply depot in Lockerley preparing  for "Operation Overlord" does not seem as "heroic" as actually storming the Beaches of Normandy, but I'm still proud of him and pleased to know where he was and see the pictures!

 Alden  of Traverse City, USA, died Monday, Nov. 21, 2011,  aged 95

Rachel Fry writes

My mother was evacuated with her mother in 1940 from Southampton to Kimbridge. They stayed with her aunt who was the wife of the water bailiff, before he went away to the war. American soldiers were billeted in the next door cottage and gave my mum peanuts, chewing gum and sweets and would bring her windmills back from the market in Salisbury. Playing pooh sticks on the bridge one day she ran across the road without looking and collided with an American soldier riding his bike, bringing them both crashing down. The soldiers brought a bit of interest into a very quiet country childhood where the main entertainments were feeding the chickens and looking for minnows.

I have really enjoyed the photos of Romsey, where my grandparents lived.

Gill from Romsey writes

I've been looking at the photo's from 1944. my mum, Barbara Hodges and her sisters Joyce and Betty had fabulous memories of their times spent at the American dances....escorted by their mother Ada Hodges, of course! They were very happy times for them as teenagers and it made me wonder if they crossed paths with any of the young men in the photo's! How times have changed though. She told me that the camp was separated into blacks and whites, as the Americans did in those days.

Steve from Mottisfont writes

I came across a number of photos in your US Army in Dunbridge & Lockerley Gallery and was particularly interested in the photo of the gamekeeper as I am in regular contact with Bob Peach who attends every Mottisfont Cricket Club game (son of former Mottisfont gamekeeper Jack Peach).
I took the liberty of printing out the photo and showing it to Bob and he was adamant it is his father in the photo. Hope this helps.
He went on to regale me of tales of how his father (and Bob himself) would win money off of the US soldiers by challenging them to shooting challenges during the war!
Regards, STEVE GODWIN

If you have any memories to share why not  CONTACT Woodley Net

 

Model of the railway sidings and Nissen huts made by the "Lockerley Mechanics" group

 

"Mill Arms" Dunbridge 1944 taken from vehicle of the US army  who were stationed in the area.

 

A pub in the area called Spring Cottage, now a private dwelling. Its at West Grimstead on Chapel Hill at the junction

with Grimstead Rd. No longer has a thatched roof. The sign is pointing left to East Grimstead and Farley.

 

Spring Cottage as it is now

 

Entrance (round building) at Home Farm going towards East Tytherley half a mile past the Star Inn

 

Tytherley cricket pavilion?

 

Sgt. Luther Dalrymple of the US Army on the B3084 near Kimbridge

 

Lt. Dave Goldman painted cartoons like this on the walls of the Mess Hall in Lockerley

 

Jack Peach gamekeeper of Mottisfont Estate on the left was hare hunting with ferrets. Possibly at Dunbridge gravel pit

 

Message from Jacks son Bob to Stephen Godwin "He went on to regale me of tales of how his father (and Bob himself)
would win money off of the US soldiers by challenging them to shooting challenges during the war!!!!!"

 

Sgt. Luther Dalrymple and T/4 James Daniels (When I nod my head, hit it)

 

T/4 James Daniels, Sgt. Luther Dalrymple, T/4 Raymond Burns

 

 

 

Funeeee!. Huts identical to Ganger Camp ones.

 

 

Dunbridge with former shop on left of bend

 

US army photographers at work

 

Purchased by the Southern Railway from the War Department in 1946 for use at Southampton Docks.

Then renamed ??? and used 1948/1962. Scrapped in 1967

 

 

Capt. Duane M. Hart. (Photographer)

 

 

Lockerley Hall entrance

 

Building still there minus railings door and steps

 

Dakota?  flying over the camp

 

Stores and equipment arriving at Southampton awaiting shipment to France

 

On the way to Cherbourg from Southampton

 

 

Aerial view of the camp 1947

 

A wider view of the area showing airfield