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Remembered Today:

Poole, anyone?


andiS
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I've been finding out where my mother's siblings were born, and comparing that to the places my grandfather (died 1915) was stationed at the time. My mother was born in Dorchester Depot Barracks (where last week I spent a wonderful couple of hours in the archive), but her sister was born in Heckford Drill Hall in Poole where my grandfather was an instructor sergeant

Every drill hall I've ever seen was too small for an NCO's wife to swing a cat, let alone give birth, which makes me think that this must have been a somewhat larger structure than I imagine. Does anybody live in Poole and can tell me if it's still standing, and if so, how big is it?

We're talking, according to her birth certificate:

Heckford Drill Hall

Maple Road

Longfleet

Poole

TIA

andy

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Hello Andy

The drill halll database has no record of this one; is the address directly from the birth certificate?

Many drill halls had a house attached for the sergeant instructor, often a time-servd sergeant who would otherwise be pensioned into oblivion.

Your comment on the size of drill halls surprises me; most could cope with a birth and a couple of five-a-side matches at the same time..... #

I look forward to the response of one of our Hampshire specialists.

Graeme

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Hi Graeme

I think my surprise is that the only "drill hall" I've ever seen was essentially a glorified scout hut. My knowlege of drill halls is limited so I didn't realise they were normally more substantial...

Yes, that's the actual address on her birth certificate, multimap shows the road as still being there. But of course the "luftwaffe redevelopment project" and/or land prices in Poole might mean that it's now a block of flats!

Best wishes

andy

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I think my surprise is that the only "drill hall" I've ever seen was essentially a glorified scout hut. My knowlege of drill halls is limited so I didn't realise they were normally more substantial...

Possibly you may have passed them by unaware of a reincarnation, re-use or re-fronting. Many people do. I recommend a rather good website at http://www.drillhalls.org - a work in progress, so if you come across anything...

As a start, you may well find the original on an old OS map, so perhaps try Old Maps. Then it can be quite useful to look on Google Earth, to see whether there is a building fitting the footprint of the original. This may at least rule out its survival.

If you need a hand, just ask.

Gwyn

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Maple Road is still there, near Poole General Hospital-it is in Dorset not Hampshire :P .

Cheers

Dominic

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Graeme probably has Hampshire on the brain because we've just spent an age working on Hampshire.

Andy, I was curious and looked into this a bit more.

The Drill Halls Project database records Kingston Road, Longfleet, Poole as home to 'D' 4 Dorsetshire. Kingston Road intersects Maple Road. If a large building such as a drill hall abuts two roads, it isn't at all uncommon for the address to be more or less interchangeable in the Directories, or for mistakes to be made if the researcher was perhaps in a hurry or a bit careless in reading road names. We've found mistakes where the drill hall address is given as another, nearby, road. It's also possible that the residence opened on to one road and the drill hall on another. So the address you have on the birth certificate and the address we have found recorded for the drill hall are very likely to be the same building.

I've had a look on the old maps online. The drill hall is not labelled, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. They are sometimes unlabelled, except on the larger scale OS maps. There are several large-ish buildings which might or might not be a drill hall, but the one which has caught my attention is on the north side of Kingston Road where Maple Road crosses it. This is a dark, solid building on the maps.

I found this location on Google Earth and there seem to be........ apartments or another new-build there.

I may be entirely wrong and the only way to be certain is to find a photograph, a map reference from a large scale map, documentary proof, or to go and look. I'm not going! I'm nearly three hundred miles away. But this might give you a starting point. Have a look at what I've seen and make a judgement. Of course, if a Dorset person can help, that would be ideal.

I would also suggest searching on "drill hall", Kingston Road, Longfleet.

The Drill Hall in Longfleet is recorded in Kelly, 1911, with mention of Capt H O Lock and Sgt Henry Hart as Drill Instructor. (Is this H O Lock the one whom Thomas Hardy knew? Did he become Major H O Lock who wrote about Palestine? Just curious.) It isn't mentioned in early directories such as 1895 and, as is common, it isn't recorded in the 1915 Directory.

Cheers

Gwyn

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Hi

Thanks, I may have to go to Poole and look....

Sounds indeed like the same place, and my grandfather was 4 Dorsets at the time, which all does rather sound like conclusive proof. My Grandfather registered the birth and he gave the name of the place as 'Heckford Drill Hall' so it was clearly what he called it whatever it's official name might have been. He was there in 1912 - if Sergeant Lock was there in 1911 and my Grandmother was with him in Belfast (which for 1 Dorsets was 1913) then it must have been a temporary posting for him.

andi

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Every local authority has to compile an Historic Environment Record. Eventually they should be online, but Dorset's is not, yet. If a drill hall is extant and if it is considered historically valuable and if someone has bothered to notice it, it ought to be in there. Some authorities are better than others; I don't know about Dorset.

Dorset's page is here. It might be worth an email to them.

I looked in the Defence of Britain database and I also had a quick look through Planning Applications, searching on Maple Road and Kingston Road. This can be very useful if a drill hall disappeared in the last couple of decades. The fact I found nothing means little. If you can find exactly where the drill hall was in 1912, sometimes contacting the Local Studies people in the library reveals some information; you often come across someone who says, "I know exactly where that is and ..."

What was the family name?

As I said, if you do come across anything, we'd love to see it.

Gwyn

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Gwyn

You are right-extract from 1:2500 1909-1939 revision corner of Kingston Road and Maple Road, although as you say it looks like it has been demolished

Cheers

Dominic

post-3023-1204200870.jpg

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