Notice the 39 'Nussen Huts'
They used by the 5th Cheshire Regiment, Royal Irish Fusilers and the South Lancashire Regiment who were stationed in Bangor during the Second World War. The camp was later occupied by American GI's from July 1943, One of the GIs who stayed at the camp one was the boxer Joe Louis. Known as the “Brown Bomber”, he was the World Heavyweight boxing champion between 1937 and 1949. He even had time to give a talk to local residents at the Drill Hall.
Following the departure of the US forces the camp was used for Italian prisioners of war. Six days a week they were taken to farms to work alongside farmers at the Women Land Army, in there spare time created small gardens outside their huts and generally got on well with the locals.
After the repatriation of the Italian prisioners in 1946 the camp was used by Officer Cadet Training Units and in 1947 as a temporary home for Polish troops whilst awaiting their return to Poland.
The huts were used to house locals in the 1950's prior to their rehoming in new social housing.
The huts were removed and the area was given to the people in a gift following the death of King George V (June 1865 – 20 January 1936) all be it 23 years later due to the demands of war and the subsequent depression. A ceremony opening the fields was held on Saturday September 26th 1959.
Aerial view of the site c1940s
A photographic booklet of the opening of the fields 1959
A plan of the original layout of the playing field 1959
Area plan of the field 1959
A remaining hunt in the foreground with a travelling Fair.
I often wondered if there is any information concerning the Italian POW Camp on Beach Road, Bangor. it was a Sunday afternoon stroll worth taking, during the War Years, as the Prisoners had made beautiful, decorations of the front of their huts, with bits of scrap material, one that stands out was The Leaning Tower of PISA, A working Party would March out most days working Parties, repairing houses etc., and a Lot used to meet at the Popular venue, Joe Valla's, Chip Shop in the High Street, In them days I lived in James Street, and made a lot of friends with them. my age was 8 to 10 Years. I would be very interested in any information relating to their Stay in Bangor, and when where they released, to return to their Homeland Italy
Ken Thomas, York