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Appeal for information about history of Hardwick Hall camp

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A Derbyshire Times reader is appealing for information about this old photograph of Hardwick Camp.

This camp was built at Hardwick Hall in 1941 as a training base for the 1st Parachute brigade and was then used by the Polish Resettlement Corps from 1946 for Polish soldiers returning to Britain.

The photograph, sent in by reader Carl Clayton, belonged to the father of his partner Rita whose father served with the 2nd Polish Corps in Italy and lived at Hardwick Camp until he married a local girl.

The couple posted this photo on the Old Chesterfield Pics Facebook page where it attracted a lot of interest as it is the only known ground level picture of the camp.

As a result, a Facebook group was set up for the Hardwick Airborne Forces and Polish Resettlement Camp for people who had relatives at the camp.

Mr Clayton said: “The camp was demolished and currently there is no evidence on the ground as to where the camp was or about its history. 
“We understand that Hardwick Hall is thinking of putting together an exhibition about the camp and the people who were there.

“We think it is long overdue of the National Trust to highlight this aspect of local history especially as many Polish families settled in the area.

“We would like to hear your stories of the camps, no matter how big or small they are. Whether it is in direct relation to you, or just stories you have herd, it all counts.”

If you have any information, stories or photographs relating to the camp at Hardwick Hall, email us on comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk or get in touch with Carl directly via cclayton@hotmail.co.uk.