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UK Local Councils

Braunstone Town Council

Serving Braunstone Town (including Thorpe Astley)

Clerk: Mr Darren Tilley
Braunstone Civic Centre, Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 2PP

Tel: 0116 289 9270

The War Years

Friends of the past Elancourt Group - France

In February 2013 Braunstone Town Council received a letter from the above Association requesting assistance in trying to trace any surviving relatives of Sergeant John Patrick Murray who died in a plane crash on 11th June 1944.

Les Amis du Passe d'Elancourt Group intend to commemorate the event in June 2014.

National Commemorations to Mark the End of the Second World War (July 2005)

As part of the National Commemorations to mark the end of the Second World War, the Town Council invited local veterans to let us have their wartime stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mr S Camplejohn and Mr L Pocock who let us have their stories which you can link to below. We hope you agree that they give an interesting insight into the lives of those in service during WWII.

Parish Records

A.R.P.
The Chairman spoke in glowing terms of the efficient manner in which the work of the assembling and distributing the gas masks had been carried out the large band of volunteers, and it was proposed by Mr Bull seconded by Mr Glasby and resolved:- That a letter be sent to the Council's representatives in the two Area requesting them to convey to their Committees, the Council's thanks and appreciation of the work that was done. The Chairman expressed regret at the small attendance of members at the recent Council Meetings, and the Clerk was instructed to stress this point when sending out Notices for the next Meeting.

(Braunstone Parish Council Minutes 1938)

During the Second World War Braunstone Park was put to agricultural use. Wheat, barley and potatoes were some of the crops grown while sheep grazed the remaining pastureland.

The Local Home Guard was based in Braunstone Hall, the park keeper being amongst their detachment. Mr. D.C. Hamilton remembers being on sentry duty when a land mine was dropped and exploded on the park. The park keeper was on duty at the time of the incident and was duly dispatched to locate the mine, which he did when he fell into the crater in the pitch black of night!

Between 1943 and 1945 the 168 Battery of the Royal Artillery and the 52nd/53rd Field Regiment Royal Artillery were stationed on the park. The 53rd Regiment coming directly from active service in Italy in June 1945.

On 14th February 1944, the American 82nd Airborne Division arrived in Braunstone with Major General Mathew B. Ridgeway as their Divisional Commander. Victoria Park was the major camp in Leicester with the Divisional Headquarters on Braunstone Park. The War Room was set up and staffed twenty four hours a day. The nissen huts, erected in advance of their arrival, were to be their home for the coming months.

The 82nd Airborne Division was formed on the 15th August 1942 for service in North Africa. They had been on active service in Sicily and Italy before the troops were pulled out to come to England in preparation for “Overlord” and the D Day Landings in Normandy.

During their stay in Braunstone, General Gavin was appointed Commander of the 82nd, becoming the youngest General since the American Civil War.

General Ridgway returned to Leicester in May 1976 to inaugurate a memorial on Victoria Park to the men of the 82nd Airborne Division; and in 1997, veterans of the Division, who had been billeted on Leicester Racecourse, unveiled a plaque marking their stay there in 1944. In August 2000 another plaque commemorating the 82nd Airborne was unveiled by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Barbara Chambers, in the Memorial Garden on Braunstone Park.

After the war, due to the severe housing shortage the camp was used to house displaced families until permanent homes could be found for them.

US 82nd Airbourne Division

As stated above, members of the 82nd Airborne were stationed at Braunstone Hall prior to the D-Day landings. The Stars and Stripes is flown at Braunstone Civic Centre on 16 August each year to commemorate US NATIONAL AIRBORNE DAY and the Town's links with the Divisions. On 31st May 1994 General Gavin’s daughter Barbara Fauntleroy visited Braunstone Civic Centre and unveiled a plaque in honour of the Division

U.S Paratroop Commander - James Gavin
James M Gavin was also stationed at Braunstone Hall. He was one of the best- respected US Paratroop Commanders of World War II. He first saw action as the colonel of a parachute regiment in Sicily in 1943. A year later he was one of the youngest generals in the US Army, commanding the 82nd Airborne Division in successful operations in Normandy and the Ardennes. Throughout his war career, ‘Slim Jim’ Gavin demonstrated not only great personal courage but an outstanding talent for organisation.

In 1999 and at the request of Braunstone Town Council a road on the new Thorpe Astley residential development has been named 'Gavin Close.

Memorial to the 82nd Airbourne - Braunstone Park

Battle of Britain Day - 2010

Roll of Honour presented at Braunstone Civic Centre
15th September 2010

R.A.F. Roll of Honour

Braunstone & District

J. BONNER
R.N. BEALE
D.A. DILLEY
A. FLINT
K.J. FLETCHER
C.L. GINETTA
T. HOBBS
P.A. LOUCH
G.W.S. SPRIGGS
W.J. THROSBY
J.E.YARNALL
F.R.V. CRAGG
W.R. LOUTH
J.R. MARRIOT

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

On 15th September 2010 the Town Mayor - Miss Anthea Ambrose attended a ceremony at Braunstone Civic Centre to honour the memory of local service personel who lost their lives in the second world war.

The Royal Air Force Flag was raised at the Civic Centre by Members of RAFA at 10.30am. The Sunset Ceremony commenced at 6pm when the Roll of Honour was unveiled in the Civic Centre. A short service then took place at the Memorial Garden and the flag lowered.

On 15th September more than 1000 enemy aircraft carried out a day and night attack on London – it was a day of very heavy fighting and later became commemorated as 'Battle of Britain Day'.

National Commemorations to Mark the End of the Second World War (July 2005)

As part of the National Commemorations to mark the end of the Second World War, the Town Council invited local veterans to let us have their wartime stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mr S Camplejohn and Mr L Pocock who let us have their stories which you can link to below. We hope you agree that they give an interesting insight into the lives of those in service during WWII.

IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS OR WOULD LIKE TO ADD A HISTORY ITEM PLEASE CONTACT - Executive Officer & Town Clerk - Mr Ian Laughton
Braunstone Town Council, Braunstone Civic Centre, 209 Kingsway, Braunstone Town, Leicester, LE3 2PP.

Telephone: 0116 2899270
Fax: 0116 2824785
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