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Ebrington Manor

Military site : non-airfield

Run by the American Red Cross, Ebrington Manor was one of 16 country houses or 'flak homes' which housed airmen for Rest and Recuperation away from the stress of flying missions. Each serviceman was entitled to at least one rest period during their 25-30 mission tour.

Ebrington Manor is a Grade II listed building that has been in the ownership of one family - the Fortescues - for well over 500 years. It was one of the last USAAF Rest Homes to be opened.

Detailed history

Ebrington Manor is a large country house with ancient origins, located 2 miles east of Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. It is noted for its garden, which was designed by Sybil Fortescue, grandmother to the current Earl Fortescue.

For USAAF combat air crews in the UK, home leave was impossible. So the doctors responsible for their well-being believed the next best thing would be Rest Homes, using the tranquility, comfort and freedom from military routine achievable at English country houses or hotels.

Aircrew could, at least once during their tour, come for a week away from the horrors of war. After which it was hoped they would return to their units, refreshed.

On arrival they were provided with civilian clothes. Uniforms only appeared for the evening dinner. Air Service Command supplied an administrative commanding officer, an adjutant and enlisted helpers. A Medical Officer, rotated each week from operational units, provided any necessary emergency care or medical advice.

American Red Cross girls acted as hostesses, supervising the recreation and dining. The American Red Cross also employed and managed the civilian staff needed to run the house and maintain the grounds.

Ebrington Manor joined the programme on 5th August 1944. It was set up to accommodate 20 enlisted men and was allocated to the 1st Bomb Division.

Post-war the Manor reverted to the Fortescue family and the historic importance of the building was recognised with the grant of Grade II listing in 1960.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 April 2016 14:50:01 MaryF Changes to history
Sources

The spelling 'Camden' is incorrect. It should be 'Campden'.

Date Contributor Update
31 March 2015 12:25:31 Lucy May Changes to description and history
Sources

Reworked the balance of information between the station summary field and the detailed history field.

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2015 23:47:57 MikeO Changes to latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date and history
Sources

Report to the Surgeon, HQ Eighth Air Force dated 11 Dec 1944; 'Flak' Houses Then and Now, Thomas, After the Battle.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:02:16 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / D A Lande, from Somewhere in England (Airlife Publishing, UK, 1991).
http://fortescue.org/site/manor-houses/ebrington-manor-gloucestershire/

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