In 1943, Lydiard Park was requisitioned by the military and served three important functions during the Second World War. At the same time, the St John family decided to leave their ancestral home. Town Clerk David Murray John negotiated the sale of Lydiard Park to Swindon Corporation for £4,500.
Lydiard Park served as a large station hospital for the American 101st Airborne Division, and treated casualties from the D Day Landings. The camp was located where the sports and event pitches are today.
From 1943, the American hospital became a Prisoner of War hospital, and housed up to 200 German Prisoners of War at a time.
Elsewhere in the park, the Great Western Railway Home Guard used the fields and woodland for training and target practice.
Following the war, the military huts were used as a temporary housing estate. Many families lived at the ‘lost estate’ at Lydiard Park until the 1960s.