At the outbreak of the Second World War, large areas of the park were given to food growing, both in allotment plots as part of the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign, and in agricultural-scale crop production.
Underground air-raid shelters were constructed for use by households neighbouring the park and an Air Raid Precautions regional headquarters was established in a purpose-built annex to Pounds House. An emergency feeding station was set up in a large hut near the bowling greens and a gun emplacement installed above the park’s southern slopes.
United States troops started to be billeted in Devon and Cornwall from 1943 and a food store was established next to the Home Park football stadium. A hutted camp was built next to Upper Knollys Terrace for ‘girl gunners’ of the A.T.S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service) and subsequently used to house prisoners captured during the final stages of the war. They were employed on house building programmes after the war, including prefabs in Central Park, until the final repatriation in 1948.
These maps show where the wartime features were located: