I’ve had another interesting enquiry in from Val Ainsworth, who last week sent in the lovely tale of her husband visiting the Station Hotel in Brownhills in the late 1940s – this time, she has a fascinating enquiry about a possible wartime American Army camp between North Birmingham and Brownhills.
Val writes that her friend recalls visiting a US encampment somewhere around the Streetly/Aldridge/Mill Green area around 1943, but other than the known camp at Pheasey, I’m at a bit of a loss.
Vague memories of military activities locally during the war aren’t unusual – there was the whole debate over tank testing at Shire Oak Quarry that was never really nailed fully and the phantom Italian POW camp near Aldridge Aerodrome.
I do recall someone mentioning military activity in the Little Aston/Mill Green/Stonnall area at some point, and although I’ve heard similar stories about other places before, I’m open minded and I’m sure readers can help.
If you have anything to add, please do: comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
Val Ainsworth wrote:
WHERE WAS THIS CAMP ?
Around 1943 there was a substantial American Army field camp that had been set up, the location was somewhere off the Chester Road and possibly somewhere between Aldridge and Brownhills.
Witness to this claim comes from a young boy ( at that time ) who assisted in taking a message from a young lady living in Kingstanding to her American soldier boyfriend.
He tells the story:
Me and me mate collected the written message,took direction instructions, got on our bicycles and set off up the Chester Road (heading from Sutton Park towards Brownhills).
We cycled a fair way up the Chester Road before turning off into a country lane. At a point in the lane we arrived at the American Army camp.
We spoke to the Yank guards at the camp gates and explained our mission.
We were taken to meet up with the soldier to whom the message had been sent. He read the message and seemed to be pleased with the contents and then with the usual American Soldier generosity he asked us if we would like something to eat.
He took us to a large tent which was obviously their grub canteen.
Boy, did we have a great tuck in to some lovely Chicken pieces. We had a nice little chat with him and then it was time to begin our journey back to Kingstanding.
It had been a great adventure for us and something for us to remember always.
Disregarding the existing American army establishment that was already in place on the Pheasy Estare, Kingstanding…
Where was this other American field camp located?
Was it anywhere near the area of Brownhills? Any takers?