After Daisy & Into War

After Daisy’s death in 1938, the estate was inherited by her son Maynard Greville who lived nearby in Little Canfield. He shared neither his mother’s beliefs in Socialism nor her interest in the formal Gardens and consequently they began to succumb to nature. However, in 1939, the War Office requisitioned Easton Lodge for use by the Army and the Home Guard. In 1942/43, thousands of estate trees were felled (and blown up) to enable its use as an airfield and in 1943 the 386th Bomber group, the ‘Crusaders’ of the US Air Force, took up residence. Many of their Marauder aircraft based here were involved in the bombing of the Utah landing beaches in Normandy prior to the troops’ arrival on D-Day in June 1944.

The 386th then moved to France and the RAF 190 and 620 Squadrons were billeted throughout the estate. Their major operation was the breakthrough into Germany, the Rhine crossing, flying Stirlings and towing Horsa gliders.

After VE Day, the RAF also moved on, and Easton Lodge became home to 21 VRD RASC. At one time, there were up to 34,000 vehicles parked on the Estate which the Army occupied until 1950 when it was returned to its owner, Maynard Greville.