This is Battlemead House as it is today, basically as it was, except for a few landscape changes. Now the parkland is no more and the Horse Chestnuts are all gone. Mind you, we boys made quite a lot of pocket money out of those Conker’s, as we were told they were used to make toothpaste. Not till long after the war did we find that the Conker’s were used to make the explosive “Cordite.”
Battlemead House and what was the adjoining parkland now covered with houses has quite a story to tell during the Second World War. After what was left of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, the military had to hide them from view. So Battlemead House and its adjacent park was just the ideal place as the park contained a large amount of Horse Chestnut Trees under which the army erected their bell tents. I have no idea how many troops there were at Battlemead, but if I tell you my uncle at Sheephouse Farm delivered two 10-gallon churns of milk every day to the mess tent.
One day while collecting money from the pay office in the house the Adjutant asked him how the harvest was going and could he use some help. He said that a few extra hands would be useful. The next morning 60 soldiers turned up with a sergeant and set about bringing in the wheat, oats and barley. In three days the whole harvest was in. I remember the remark that it was the fastest harvest at Sheephouse on record.