Tadeusz Leduchowicz lived in Ivor Grove camp, this is his story April 2019



My parents Bronisław and Józefa Leduchowicz married in Cirencester in 1948 and had their reception at Daglinworth Resettlement Camp. Most of my father's family were living there following the end of the Second World War. After the wedding they decided to move nearer to London where opportunities to find work were better than in the Cotswolds.


They found temporary accommodation at Iver Grove Manor House which had been subdivided into a number of flats for Polish families. The house was managed by a Mrs. King and was in need of refurbishment. My parents could only stay there for nine months and moved to a succession of lodgings in nearby Uxbridge and it was during this time that I was born (November 1949). The lodgings were small and not particularly conducive to bringing up a child. My father learned that the Orawiec family, who were living in hut 41 at Grove Park, were emigrating to the U.S.A. and was able to secure the accommodation. We moved in in November 1951 and lived there for five years until November 1956.


Present day aerial view of Grove Park Iver location

Grove Park Manor House


I spent my early childhood in Grove Park, until the age of six years old. The camp was in a pleasant location with Wingrove Farm on the opposite side of the adjacent road, Iver Village shops a short walk away, extensive cherry orchards in the direction of Langley, a canal nearby and the Red Lion Public House next to the camp for the adults!


The residents had organised various community facilities including a laundry, club and church. Vendors would regularly arrive at the camp selling their produce and I particularly remember the ice cream vans and a grocer announcing at the top of his voice ovely apples.

There were over 250 residents accommodated in the basic nissen huts. These are some of the families my parents or others mentioned.


Several of the camp's mothers took it in turn to transport a group of children by bus, via Langley to Slough, to attend St. Ethelbert's R.C. Primary School, which at the time was located near to Upton Hospital in the centre of Slough. This was typical of the cooperation that existed in the camp to make the best of quite difficult living conditions.


Our hut, number 41, occupied the corner plot on the left hand side when coming into the camp from the main entrance. The plot was quite large. It had on the road side a substantial tall brick wall, a vegetable patch, several trees, low wire fencing and a chicken coop, my favourite hideout place. My brother, Rysio, was born in 1953 and when he was older, together with other friends we would have an idyllic time as there was so much to explore. However, one not so pleasant occasion for my parents was when I fell down an unused well that had lain uncovered except for overgrown vegetation. Although the well was fairly deep, I somehow managed to scramble out before my friend returned with my apprehensive mum. The well was duly blocked up and I was ticked off for going where I should not have!


Hipolit, Frania (Migdał) and Maria Leduchowicz, Kazimierz Migdał, Józef Leduchowicz, Hania Migdał (Skroś), Tadek, Leon, Józefa (Migdał), Rysio, Bronisław Leduchowicz.

Hania Migdał (Skroś), Helena Migdał (Bieniewska), Tadek, Józefa (Migdał), Rysio Leduchowicz. Grove Park Manor House at the rear of the photo.


Leon, Rysio and Tadek Leduchowicz Three-wheeler Bond Minicar

In spite of the fact that the hut was small, my two uncles, Józef and Leon Leduchowicz, came to live with us. They partitioned the rear of the hut into two rooms and made the place look quite homely. Having a car at the time was a rarity so my brother and I were excited when Leon purchased a three-wheeler Bond Minicar. It had a motorcycle engine and did not have a reverse gear so was not too sophisticated, but nevertheless a mode of transport which we fully exploited.
Most of the camp's residents were able to secure jobs locally. My father worked at Britannic Cables in Iver, as did my mother initially, after which she worked at the Ladybird Passolds factory making clothes for children which were sold in Marks and Spencer and Woolworths stores. Entertainment was limited to social events at the camp's club and numerous walks along the canal and towards the cherry orchard especially when the trees were in blossom. Father Swientoń would say masses in the church and officiate at ceremonies such as First Holy Communion.

Fr. Swientoń at First Holy Communion. Tadek Leduchowicz far left boy unknown, Krysia and Basia Miszker and  Zenek Wojtecki

First Holy Communion Tadek Leduchowicz far right girls Basia and Krysia Miszker


The War Office had requisitioned the land at Grove Park as a resettlement camp and the residents knew that at some point the camp would have to close down. However, when my father received an eviction notice it caused understandable worry. Fortunately he had worked hard for several years, undertaking as much overtime as he could and managed to save enough as a deposit for a house. Having secured a mortgage he purchased a house in Cippenham on the outskirts of Slough and we moved in in November 1956. Some families were not so fortunate and were evicted with no accommodation to move into, spending days outside the camp wall under makeshift covers. Eventually they were found accommodation by the local council. Many of the residents settled in the local area in Slough, Cippenham, Langley, Burnham, Iver.


Rent book

Eviction Notice from War Office


The camp was cleared, the grounds were restored and the Manor House was extensively refurbished. Later well-known owners included Tom and Miriam Stoppard and the house was used as a film location many times because of its proximity to Pinewood Studios. Films that were shot on location included hell Drivers (1957), Man In A Suitcase (1967), Strange Report (1968), The New Avengers (1977) and Carry On Again Doctor.

April 2019    

  Page 1   Ivor Grove Camp
  Page 2  Current
  Page 3  Nominal Rolls from 1956



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