Crom in the Second World War
On the shores of Upper Lough Erne in Fermanagh, Crom was requisitioned in stages by the War Office from November 1940 and become a base for hundreds of US military. Discover more about the legacy of the Second World War at Crom.
A military camp
A camp of 101 Nissen huts was constructed on the estate in the Second World War. The concrete bases of several remain to this day. The centre of the camp was located in and around the existing riding school. The Nissen huts were for use by soldiers, while officers lived inside Crom Castle.
Arrival of the troops
On 6th April 1941, the 17th Infantry Brigade of 5th Y Division Leicester Regiment and Seaforth Highlanders arrived at Crom. By March 1942, the 6th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment and Royal Engineers (SW) arrived at Crom. They left in May and June 1942.
The first American troopscame to Crom on the 28 August 1942 – 750 of them. They were of 804th Tank Destroyer Battalion, B Company, United States Army, and remained on the estate until their deployment to Europe in summer 1943.
More American troops arrived in October 1943, leaving by August 1944. They were in part comprised of United States Army soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 28th Infantry 8th Infantry Division.
Crom’s Second World War legacy
At one point it was estimated that up to one quarter of Fermanagh's population was made up of American servicemen, with Crom hosting around 800 at any one time.
The Old Castle Greens, Old Castle Lawns and Inishfendra parkland were used as rifle, mortar and bomb ranges. With the Old Castle Greens area also playing host to a football pitch, assault course and car wash area.
There were many complaints by the Crom Land Agent to the War Department over the years of requisition. Among many reported incidents were cattle being shot, demesne avenues being badly damaged, damage to the castle interiors, bomb craters not being filled in, damage to estate buildings caused by explosions, and overuse of water..
Crom was derequisitioned by the War Office on the 4th of April 1946. Today, visitors to Crom can still see some evidence of the battalions that lived here including the remains of an assault course and a war time petrol pump.
The parkland at Crom lie beside the Upper Loch Erne, an ancient landscape including the old castle, and with diversity of habitats making it an important conservation site.
Enjoy a boat trip on Lough Erne, or experience the best coarse fishing in Northern Ireland. Stop off at an island or two, and see the estate from the vantage point of the water.
Take a look at the volunteer opportunities available at Crom and see whether volunteering here could be for you.