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WWII D-Day Preparations

D-Day Preparations

This photo shows the testing of landing craft in preparation for D-Day somewhere in Brighton.  I’m afraid I already know the location, but I’ll let you guess first before I reveal the answer (well if I need to), the place is such a surprise!

D-Day Preparations, Brighton c. 1944
Taken from the book Brighton in Battledress (copy owned by Peter Groves)

Comments about this page

  • I know that a Canadian Tank Regiment was stationed there during WW2, so could it be Stanmer Park?

    By Bob from Brighton (09/11/2017)
  • Is that the Level?

    By Mick Peirson (10/11/2017)
  • I think this is Preston Park and from the edging surrounds it may be where the bowling greens were; now many [all?] are wild flower beds.

    By Geoffrey Mead (10/11/2017)
  • I believe this is Preston Park. If I am wrong, my second guess is Stanmer Park.

    By Peter Dray (10/11/2017)
  • As we have been invited to guess, I would go for Preston Park, which has trees and grass not dissimilar to the photo. My first guess might have been Hove Park, but you did say Brighton, Peter. The long wall in the photo reminds me of a railway platform, but this was possibly a temporary structure just for the testing. Is that a small building in the centre background? The Level and Queen’s Park would be my other guesses, but I’m hedging my bets now. I will look forward to reading the answer!

    By Alan Hobden (10/11/2017)
  • Could even be the ‘old’ Falmer pond!

    By Dave Barcock (11/11/2017)
  • If the photo was taken at Stanmer Park, as suggested by Bob, the small building in the centre background could be one of the two, now white painted, lodge buildings at the main Lewes Road entrance to the park. That indicates the testing area was just a few yards past the entrance and to the left.

    By Alan Hobden (12/11/2017)
  • I wish my old Dad was still here – he would have known the location. I think Stanmer Park is a good suggestion. Being on the outskirts of Brighton it would provide more seclusion than the public and relatively confined open spaces in the town. But I haven’t a clue to be honest.  

    By Janet Beal (13/11/2017)
  • My copy of ‘ Brighton and Hove in Battledress ‘ published in 1946 has the same photograph on page 90 captioned “Tanks ‘waterproofed’ for D-Day being tested in the big static water basin in Preston Park”.

    By Peter Grossmith (14/11/2017)
  • Preston Park is correct, well done all, especially Geoff who defined the exact location almost perfectly.  The tank and location can still be seen in the 1946 Sussex Air Photo Catalogue, on line here:  use the zoom button on the right and use the v keys to get Brighton in view, and then click on the aircraft and use the zoom, the static tank can be seen at the end of the tennis courts.  I think then if you look on google maps, the outline of the disturbed earth can be seen.

    By Peter Groves (15/11/2017)
  • I have a 2nd great uncle who served in the U.S. infantry during Normandy in the second wave. His division,the 35th, was broken up as replacements. He was most likely in the 140th infantry and landed in Brighton sometime in May 1944 approximately. He stayed in Brighton for about a month and then moved out to Liverpool.He ended up landing on either Utah or Omaha beach on June 8th. The rest of his service is completely unknown except for his being awarded the Bronze Star Medal. Any more info on Brighton U.S. troops would be greatly appreciated.

    By chris wangen (24/05/2020)
  • During WW2 I used to go on a Sunday morning from my Grandmothers house in Clarendon Road up to Hove Park where the Canadian Fort Garry Horse Tank regiment were based awaiting the D Day landings. This was during 1943/4 and I was 6/7 years old and I would go from tank to tank receiving chocolate and cake.

    By James Harwood (04/07/2020)
  • My father was with a Canadian Regiment (12th Manitoba Dragoons ) and was based in Preston Park before crossing the Channel in July 1944. He drove Staghound Armoured Car and Scout Car in this Reconnoissance Unit and they were involved in water proofing their vehicles at Preston Park. Could this be a pic of his regiment?
    I went to the link for this pic but it is not available ? Is there any more info available ?

    By Kathie Braden LaForge (25/04/2023)
  • It could be Kathie, its my photo from a book called “Brighton in Battledress”, but there is no more info about the photo other than “Testing Waterproofing of Tanks in Preston Park”!

    By Peter Groves (26/04/2023)

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