The American Connection III

War-time allies

In 1943 the US Army 955th Field Artillery Battalion was stationed in Bradninch, prior to the D-Day landings. The officers were billeted around the town, including in St Disen’s Hall, but the ordinary troops were located in a Nissen hut camp erected on the cricket pitch.

The American soldiers generally attended the Baptist Church.  As a mark of their appreciation they sent a collection made in France or Germany in the winter of 1944 which the church used to purchase a lovely Bible, described in a contemporary newspaper article as a ‘permanent memorial to an Anglo-American comradeship formed during the war’.

The camp on the cricket pitch, which was subsequently used for Italian prisoners of war, was demolished in 1947.

 

With acknowledgement to M. Leonard