On the outbreak of hostilities, Alfred de Rothschild offered the parklands of his glorious estate at Halton, Bucks to the Army. The excellent communication links at Halton made it an ideal place for billeting large numbers of men, and within a few months, the 21st Yorkshire Division were billeted at Halton, the first of many units to pass through its gates. Natty, 1st Lord Rothschild offered his park at Tring for a training camp, and at Aston Clinton, the unoccupied house was volunteered as a headquarters.
In 1917, Alfred learned that the allies were short of pit props for the trenches, and offered the trees at Halton.
'I am not an expert,' he wrote to the Prime Minister on 28 February 1917, 'as regards what sort of timber would be suitable for pit props, but I cannot help thinking that, as there are so many pine trees in my woods at Halton, some of them at least would be suitable for the purpose. May I ask you very kindly to send down your expert who would very easily be able to report fully on the subject, and I should indeed be proud if my offer should lead to any practical result.'
It did, and many trees were carried away.