WW2

WW2 Military Use of Newport's Parks and Gardens

On this page the known use of parks and open spaces in Newport during the Second World War (1939-45) is summarised, though information may be incomplete. The table below shows general defence functions and events with sources of information. The font colours in columns have been chosen to aid reading the table.

In September 1938 it was reported to the Parks Committee that the Air Raid Precautions department of the Home Office had advised Local Authorities of certain precautionary measures that included the digging of trenches in the public parks, and this should be put in hand immediately. The Borough Engineer reported that he was accordingly arranging for trenches to be dug in certain parks and open spaces including Belle Vue Park, Beechwood Park and St Julians Recreation Ground.[1] For Belle Vue Park and Beechwood Park the Committee decided that the trenches be camouflaged and protected by planting shrubs and flower borders around them.[2]

In September 1940 the Parks Committee agreed to request the military authorities to permit the trenches in Newport Parks to be filled in as they had been cut across pitches and interfered with sports facilities.[8] In November it was reported that many of the trenches cut across the parks were full of water and very dangerous.[9] In April 1941 a trench in Belle Vue Park was reqisitioned by the military while the filling in of others in various Newport parks was proceeding.[13]

By April 1942 the Emergency Committee decided that trenches in parks and open spaces for air raid shelter purposes were unsafe and would be replaced by surface shelters which would not be in the parks. The Parks Committee decided that trenches not be filled in but be used for storage purposes.[15]

  Allotments Static
Water
Supply
Barrage
Balloon
Search
Lights
War
Damage
Public
Shelters
Removal
of
Railings
Council
Food
Production
ARP
Wardens
Post
ARP
First Aid
Post
ARP
Cleansing
Station
Trenches Military
presence
ARP
Watching
Post
Grazing
Beechwood Park [8][10][16]     [3]       [6][10]       [1][2] [6]    
Belle Vue Park [8][10][16]         [7]   [6]       [1][2][11][13]      
Coronation Park [16]           [18]               [14]
Crindau Park [16]                 [4][6]          
St Julians Recreation [16]                     [1]      
Shaftesbury Park   [17]                          
Tredegar Park [16]             [8]         [5][12]   [14]

References for the text and table above:

  Reference Key Words
1 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 29th September 1938 para 307  
2 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th November 1938 para 41  
3 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th February 1939 para 101  
4 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee Matters decided by the Chairman on 21st September 1939 and between 25th September and 2nd October 1939 para 252  
5 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee Matters decided by the Deputy Chairman 12th-28th October 1939 para 3  
6 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th May 1940 para 165  
7 Western Mail and South Wales News Wednesday September 11th 1940 page 6  
8 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 20th September 1940 para 259 Allotments, Trenches, Food production
9 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 15th November 1940 para 7 Trenches dangerous
10 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 20th December 1940 para 29  
11 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th January 1941 para 63 Trenches requested by Home Guard
12 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th January 1941 para 68 Damage to paths by RAF vehicles
13 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 18th April 1941 para 129, 130 Trench requisitioned by military
14 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th May 1941 para 169,170 Grazing of sheep
15 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 17th April 1942 para 108  
16 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 30th April 1942 para 131 Allotments
     
     
17 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 19th November 1943 para 18  
18 Newport County Borough Council Parks and Cemeteries Committee 16th March 1945 para 100