Woodside and Garston in WW2

Myparents came o Watford after the war as my Dad had a job at the Palace Theatre.i wasborn in Watford , we moved to Woodside when I was 3 in 1950.I have vague recollections of a large house in what is now called Wodeside playing fields.Does anyone have any information relating to the history of this house? I am also interested in what was called Garston Manor in High Elms Lane when I was a boy – it is now High Elms Manor.Does anyone know what it was use for in WW2?

This page was added on 26/01/2021.

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  • I have photos of my mother who was in the ATS during WW2, working as a shorthand typist in the typing pool at Garston Manor. She told me she had to sign the Official Secrets Act. As I understand it, it was used by a joint USA/UK army venture involving psychiatrists, but I can find no reference to exactly what was about.

    By Julie Bonnington (11/09/2022)
  • My ancestors bought Woodside in 1905: my grandfather related the following to me:
    ‘For some time he lived in Enfield and on the 21st (1905) Birthday of his son he bought Woodside in Garston just outside of Watford where he lived until his death. At. Woodside, G.A. built a modern farm building with loose boxes for cattle or horses in the centre were styes for pigs, complete with running water and self-cleaning food troughs that were tiled as were all the floors. In one corner there was circular saw. there was a hole in the wall so that long pieces of wood could be cut. Upstairs there were numerous machines for crushing cake and preparing animal feed. G.A. was a noted breeder of shire horses which he also showed. He bred and drove Hackney horses which he showed and drove in singles and pairs. There are six of seven large oil painting of the prize winning shires with paintings of the various farm building in the background.’

    By Suzanne Mainprize (26/08/2021)
  • My mother’s grandparents were the owners at Woodside about 1900-1930.

    By Suzanne Mainprize (26/08/2021)
  • I now know that ‘Garston Manor’ was used by the military (possibly RAF) for specialist training during WW2 , this could explain why there were pillboxes around the area ,presumably as a defence strategy ? I also understand that an RAF plane crashed near the Manor and all on board were killed.( not to be confused with the plane that crashed near Bricket Wood) .
    I also understand that prior to the war the Manor used to be owned by the Benskins brewing family.

    By Roger Batten (26/01/2021)

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