Glenbranter House was once the home of Sir Henry Lauder (August 4, 1870 - February 26, 1950), better known by his professional name of Harry Lauder, a famous Scottish music hall star of the time, and who was laird of Glenbranter Estate during the first half of the twentieth century. The estate lies in the area between Lock Eck and Strachur, and contains the Lauder Walk, named in memory of its former owner, and forming an easy walk of 3.5 kilometres, taking between one and two hours to complete.
The house was demolished during the 1960s, leaving no remains to be found, and much of the Glenbranter Estate was subsequently acquired by the Forestry Commission, who opened it for public access.
Lauder later moved to Dunoon, where he resided in Laudervale (also now demolished), and then moved once more to his final home of Lauder Ha' in Strathaven. The family retained Lauder Ha' into the late 1960s, however death duties eventually forced the sale of the house in order to cover their costs.
Labour Instructional Camp
During the 1930s, the Ministry of Labour opened a work camp on the estate, located in the grounds of Glenbranter House. Known as Instructional Centres, or Labour Instructional Camps, these camps were operated to a strict regime, intended to harden the young unemployed men sent there in preparation for work elsewhere. Many of those sent to this camp came from industrial West of Scotland, and had previously worked in mining or other industries hit by depression. The Glenbranter camp first hit the headlines in 1935 when the trainees organised public walk-outs, and again in 1936 when there was a mass meeting to protest against conditions within the camp.
World War II
During World War II, the became a Prisoner of War (PoW) camp used to hold Italian PoWs, and known as Camp 6.
The camp is reported to have occupied the land to the north and south of an avenue of trees that led to Glenbranter House, however the area to the north has been taken over by housing for the Forestry Commission, and the remaining area cleared, leaving no remaining evidence of the camp. Aerial photographs taken in 1946 showed the PoW camp, with 17 huts to the north and 14 to the south, but a similar survey taken in 1972 showed that only one hut appeared to remain on the site.
During 1942, the site became HMS Pasco, a training base utilised by Combined Operations, and was landing craft signals school which provided training for minor landing craft signalmen. The base was commissioned on December 14, 1942, and remained listed until October 1945.
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