Home Front - life at Lyme during the Second World War
As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day, can you help us paint a picture of what life was like at Lyme during the Second World War?
Despite being a recent part of our history, very little is known about Lyme during the war. A group of dedicated volunteers, along with a team from Liverpool John Moores University, have been researching this period, accessing archives across the country to help us better understand what life was like at Lyme between 1939-1945.
Their hard work is paying off – but we need your help! Scroll down to find out more about war time Lyme and how you can help.
As war gripped Europe, life in Britain carried on, with people across the country doing their bit for the war effort. Lyme was no different, with the house and the estate taking on new roles.
Rooms in the house were used as a war nursery for evacuated children, whilst parts of the estate were given over to the Royal Air Force, with recruits undergoing training here and military vehicles hidden on site before transporation to the battlefields. The Home Guard practiced defence techniques and utilised the Cage’s vantage point as a lookout.
Very little is known about the role the RAF played when they utilised the estate for the war effort, aside from the fact that miltary vehicles were brought to Lyme, camouflaged and stored here until they were to be transported to mainland Europe.
However, a former room guide at Lyme trained here as an airman and shared some of his memories of what life was like a trainee.
" Our miserable days were spent chasing each other all over the park, map reading, orienteering, getting lost, getting found, getting wet, muddied, dry, cold. Firing rifles, cleaning them, bayonetting straw dummies, hand grenade practice and so on."
The Home Guard
Across the country, men unable to be conscripted were mobilised to create the 'Home Guard'. The Disley branch used the estate near Red Lane for shooting practice, and utilised the Cage's vantage point as a look out.
If you, your friends or family have any connection with Lyme during this period, we would love to hear from you. Memories, photos, diaries or simple anecdotes all contribute in our effort to deepen our understanding of such a crucial part of our past. Please do get in touch on this email firstname.lastname@example.org