Home Guard

BCH Platoon, St Neots Home Guard outside the Little Barford Power Station in 1943


No 5 Wyboston Platoon, 5th Beds Battallion, Home Guard – WW2

Back Row – Ted Cox, …Staddon, Dover man, unknown, Charlie Haynes, Albert Cox, Edward Payne, John Darrington, Fred Darrington, Fred Odell, Archie Cox

3rd Row – Charlie Allen, Ken Keightley, Charlie Dickens, Percy Philpot, Dover man, Maurice Darrington, Bobby Paxton, William Ruff, Jack Wilson, Arthur Wheeler

2nd Row – Harry Payne, … Fraser. Jacky Jeffs, Joey Allison, Sgt Major Evans, … Gayton, Sgt Garthwaite, unknown, Cpl Kellythorn, Alfred Clarke

Front Row – Jimmy Swan, George Darrington, John Darrington

Men from Dover came to live at Wyboston when they came up to work in the Paper Mill. The families were housed in some of the Land Settlement houses.

Land Army girls at Wyboston Land Settlement in 1945

Prisoner of War Camps in St. Neots

In World War II, it wasn’t just the Axis powers who used prisoner of war camps. In fact, the British used to have POW camps, including two in St Neots, one where now The Crescent is located, and one called the Beeson House Camp, a labour camp for captured German soldiers.

Why you ask? Well, between 1939 and 1945 the population of prisoners in Britain increased by 400,000. Prisons didn’t have enough space to keep them, so the British government had to have lots of camps made: more than 1000 in fact, though it is unknown how many of these where completed, or used.

Picture of German Prisoners being taken to Kempton park holding camp for interrogation. From German Prisoners of War in Britain http://www.radiomarconi.com/marconi/monumento/pow/pows.html

There are no pictures of Beeson House Camp, as no one is sure where it is, but a National Grid Reference has been provided, and it was somewhere between these points: POW

Military Hospital in St.Neots – WWII

Paxton Place (Paxton Park House) in its heyday, around 1903, when the owned by Lord Gordon, later a school and maternity hospital, demolished 1959

This photograph is held in St Neots Museum – Ref SNEMU 95225.07

And now…

MAS132233_06_gal MAS132233_21_gal

“Paxton Place is a substantial former rectory dating back to 1843. The house is constructed of Cambridgeshire brick under a slated roof and has been in the same private ownership for nearly 40 years since being sold by the Church Commissioners in 1951. The current owners have carried out a great deal of improvement work over the years, including installing a heated swimming pool and an all-weather tennis court together with creating a beautifully landscaped garden which now provides a wonderful setting for the house.

The accommodation extends to 4,507 sq ft and has many features typical of the early Victorian era including high ceilings, double hung sash windows with working shutters and open fireplaces. In addition to the main house there are useful outbuildings, a pool house and a former coach house which has been used by the present owner as an office at ground floor level with a residential flat at first floor. Of particular note internally is the kitchen/breakfast room which has a hand made solid Ash kitchen, a four oven Aga and a large top lit breakfast area with a deep bay and French doors which lead out onto a large paved terrace. The drawing room is well proportioned with an open fireplace and a deep bay facing due south with fitted window seat and a set of French doors leading out into the garden. There are separate sitting and dining rooms and, at the centre of the house, is a galleried reception hall with stone flagged floor.

At first floor level the master bedroom has both dressing room and a recently refitted bathroom. There is a guest bedroom with en suite bathroom in addition together with four further bedrooms and a family bathroom.

The accommodation is shown in greater detail in the attached floor plans.

Wrought iron gates open onto a shingled drive which winds its way up to the house, outbuildings and the double garage and encircles a lawned area. Here there are neatly clipped box topiary hedging which surround rose beds and around the outside of these are a complete circle of pleached lime trees. The gardens are a particular feature of the property, laid out over a number of years to provide all year round interest, colour and formal and informal areas. A wide expanse of lawn to the south of the house is bisected by a large herbaceous border stocked with a wide variety of colourful plants.

To the side of the southern spur of the drive is a row of mature chestnut trees under-planted with spring flowering bulbs and daffodils which lead up to the well wired floodlit all-weather tennis court. Beyond the herbaceous border is a further area of lawn to the south of which is a small orchard enclosed by beech hedging. The swimming pool is also enclosed within mature hedging providing a sun trap by the pool and pool house which also benefits from a large terrace. Along the eastern boundary are mature poplar trees and to the south of the tennis court a small vegetable garden.”


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