- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Harold Alfred Wybrow
- Location of story:
- Hyde Park Gun Site WWII
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 13 November 2003
My father served in the Home Guard between October 1942 and May 1943. He did fire-watching duty (e.g. at Staples Corner, London)and was on the anti-aircraft guns in Hyde Park London. He was subsequently in the RAOC and RASC.
He died many years ago, but amongst other things, he told me that he once had to unload a live rocket from one of the rocket guns on the Hyde Park gun site. The gun site was located where there is currently a wide-open space above the underground car park at Marble Arch, flanked by Park Lane.
The guns fired a salvo of six rockets and each rocket had a clockwork-timer. This meant that the rocket was presumably still likely to go off!
He also told me that, on one occasion, a complete gun crew were blown up.
Not much seems to ever have been said publicly about the gun site and the personnel working there, which must have involved them in much bravery and risk, and I often wonder how my father must have felt, travelling from our home, in North Kensington (a source of further stories) to that gun site.
My sister (she is older than me; I was a baby) remembers visiting my father at the gun site, and I believe that Lady Soames (wife of Sir Winston Churchill) who was in the ATS, visited the gun site. I would love to see any photographs concerning the gun site and to learn more about it.
Amongst other things, I have my father's Soldier's Service Book and a certificate from King George VI, commemorating his service in the Home Guard.
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