Sheffield Park during the Second World War

The Cape Breton Highlanders at Sheffield Park Sussex in 1942

During the Second World War, Sheffield Park was requisitioned by the War Office and became an extensive camp for several Canadian regiments. The Nissen huts that housed the soldiers covered a wide area stretching from the main road almost to Fletching village.

Some Nissen hut remains can still be seen, and a complete example survives in what is now our gardeners' compound.  Various pots, crockery and equipment from that time are often found in the grounds.  Concrete Path in the garden was laid by the soldiers, and you can follow in their footsteps which remain preserved in the hardened cement.

The Canadian regiments stationed here included the Cape Breton Highlanders, Royal Canadian Artillery, and the Regiment de la Chaudiere who took part in the D-Day invasion of Juno Beach.  Two of the five boats carrying the regiment were hit by German artillery and sunk before making it to shore.

Pillbox

One of many pillboxes located along the River Ouse, this surviving hexagonal building can be found in South Park near the Hammerdick stream.  The inside is well preserved, with five large weapon shelves and faint grafitti marks remaining from its time in use.

Churchill's swans

Thought to be under threat of bombing at his home in Chartwell, Churchill moved his beloved pair of black swans to Sheffield Park, an estate owned by his son-in-law's father.  Unfortunately, local legend has it that the Canadian soldiers, many of them woodsmen and hunters, shot and killed the swans and replacements were hastily acquired.