Newfoundland Foresters

1946 RAF Aerial Image of Balmer Lawn. Standing Hat carpark is in the bottom right. A potential NOFU Camp. Credit Crown Copyright
Author: John Sansom

As a thirteen year old boy growing up in the area and attending schools in Lymington and Brockenhurst, I have a memory of many days spent with men of the Newfoundland Forestry Unit (NOFU) east of Balmer Lawn Hotel where they were employed felling large trees for the war effort. Sometimes, on entering a recently cut forest block here in British Columbia, the smell of sap from freshly cut timber reminds me vividly of those youthful days spent with those kind, strong men with ‘newfie’ accents!

Incidentallly,  in the web site entitled: Secret Scotland – Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit two New Forest sites are listed (70 & 71) at: Fritham and Breckenhurst (Brockenhurst). This activity is linked to the activity recorded from historic aerial photographs in what is now Standing Hat Carpark and in a clearing north of Ladycross Lodge. If you explore the area you can find numerous areas of concrete associated with old buildings; likely accommodation and ablutions.

You can read further memories and see photos of another New Forest sawmill  at Denny Lodge:

Memories of Lyndhurst and Denny sawmill

Denny Sawmill Photos

If you have any more information or memories of the site or other New Forest sawmill sites please get in touch

Date: 1940

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