The War Years - a Memory of Princetown.
My father was stationed at Princetown as a prison officer during the war, having transferred from the Isle of Wight (Parkhurst). So you can imagine that in 1941, coming from the heavy aerial warfare over Southern England to the remoteness of Dartmoor was quite a change and although I was only 5, I recall that move very well and also how idyllic living on Dartmoor was at that time. We used to live in Grosvenor House and I see from Google Earth that it is still there and hasn't changed very much. I suppose there is one defining moment when we all were brought home to the reality of what was going on around us when stream after stream of US vehicles headed through the village to Rundlestone Corners where they were to be camped until D-Day. These were some of the first men to land on the beaches and while they must have known what the odds were, they still participated in village life by providing Santa Claus for the kids and distributed candy and other goodies to us all. I remember that one moment they were there in their thousands and the next they were gone, with only the endless moors and tracks in the ground where the tents and vehicles had stood. I went on to serve 40 years in a uniform myself, so I can relate to how those troops must have felt and it was only in recent years that I found out who they actually were and the story of how they trained in the US and came to the UK and were sent to Dartmoor to await June 6th 1944. I remember them well and I bet there are many others who also have fond memories of those far off days of WW11 and living in Princetown. David S A Bawden.
A memory shared by on Dec 17th, 2012. Send David Bawden a message
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