Aldershot

13 Command Workshop REME

This unit only existed until 1962 - it was renamed after that.  

13 Command Workshops REME Aldershot

1942 – 1962 renamed 43 Command Workshops

HANSARD 1803–2005  ARMY WORKSHOPS, ALDERSHOT (FIRE)                 

HC Deb 06 November 1950 vol 480 c604604  Mr. Oliver Lyttelton 

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for War whether he has any statement to make regarding the fire at No. 13 Command Workshops, R.E.M.E., at Aldershot, which occurred last Saturday night. 

The Secretary of State for War (Mr. Strachey) 

This fire occurred on the night of 4th November. The workshops consist of a building of five bays. One of these was completely destroyed and two were seriously damaged. About 75 "B" vehicles which were under repair were destroyed, together with a number of spare parts and workshop equipment. No tanks or other fighting vehicles were damaged or destroyed. Investigations by the Special Investigation Branch of the Military Police and by the civil police were at once put in hand. A court of inquiry will be convened. As soon as its report has been considered I shall make a full statement to the House”.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was posted to 13 Command Workshops, REME (Feb ’50 - Jan ’51) from AAS Harrogate, where I had been awarded the 6thterm prize for trade progress.  I was C&J 3 and an A/T Sgt and accepted the REME option I was offered, I felt privileged by this.  However, in one of the priority questions after arriving I was formally asked if I could drive!

Many working days started by forming up in threes then an orderly march/trot through the outskirts of the town, always before breakfast.  The Ash Ranges was one of the turning points reached.

A significant responsibility of the Workshops was in carrying out Recovery Duties: (The initial lift given to a casualty back to a selected site for repair).  The people involved could be called out any time through day and night; they operated suitably heavy and powerful vehicles and they were very proud of what they achieved.

The Workshop’s woodworking unit was located in an external building, in which I passed the trade test for C&J 2.  I later passed C&J 1 test overseas, building studies by correspondence, and was accepted for Clerk of Works (Construction) training, and transferring to the Corp.

 

Brian Davies.

Cities: 

16 Para Bde PCCU

16 Indep Para Bde PCCU RE was stationed in Arnhem Barracks Aldershot certainly in the 1965 to 69 period and provided postal support to the whole of 16 Indep Para Bde including such units as 7RHQ, all three Para Battalions, Depot Airborne Forces, 216 Para Sigs, 16 Para Wksps REME and 16 Para Tpt Sqn RCT.

Posted MArch 2014 - 

Just to let you know the unit had actually moved to Bulford from Aldershot prior to me passing ‘P’ coy in '71 and qualifying as a Parachutist RE.  Although I did “pre para” selection in Aldershot with 9th Indep Para Sqn RE, I initially served with the16 Indep Para Bde PCCU RE, who at the time were based in Bulford.  Eventually I transferred to a 9 SQN, and am in touch with the SQN guys thru the AEA etc.

16 Indep Para Bde PCCU RE was a unique little outfit, (and recall there was only actually five or six Para posties serving during my time in Bulford); and I am desperately trying to locate any of them who were at the in "Bulford" at the same time.

Many Thanks

 

Dave S. Smith

29 EOD and Search Group

Again I have no knowledge of the size or makeup of this group so I can't put it here.  PLease let me know what I'm missing.  REgards, Gordon

Cities: 

4 TRRE

This was the old training regt before Gib Barracks opened at Camberley in 1979.  Basic Training MT Training was carried out at the old Gibralter Barracks 50/60s

Cities: 

56 Squadron

This is the main page for the squadron or unit. More info will be added here as I get the time, but for now it's a "base" for establishing comms with other members of the same unit. You can post messages for other members of the same unit using the messages link above this blurb, and you can also search for other members of this unit. Once you find them, click on their name to send an email direct to them. Please note that this website doesn't "remember" your emails, they are sent direct from you to the recipient without sappers.co.uk getting in the way. That helps you get in touch quickly and it keeps everything simple and free. Have fun. Gordon

9 Squadron

I believe this was generally referred to as 9 Para, but I'm not sure if it has always been so?  Just in case, I have left off all references to Para, Indep, Cdo, Airborne, Airfield, Support, Hug, Pugh or Barney McGrue, and the unit is simply referred to as 9sqn on this site.  I'm sure you're all smart enough to work out if you served with these people or not!

I have had an interesting email from Trevor Stimpson - formerly of 20 Sqn, explaining how some people from 20 Sqn were attached to 9Sqn for a time.  Most of them will have registered under 20 Sqn, but I thought I'd copy it here for those who haven't.  You can find a link to Trevor's 20 Sqn website for these guys here http://www.freewebs.com/20sqnrefalklands/

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Airborne Engineers Scotland branch now has 37 members who, although mainly reside in close proximity to Edinburgh, are spread the length and breadth of Scotland. We also act as a 'mother branch' to several members in England, Australia, Thailand and Canada. Our Branch members have served in various units, including 4 Parachute Squadron R.E., 9 Independent Parachute Squadron R.E., 131 Parachute Engineer Regiment, and 131 Independent Parachute Squadron R.E.  You can find them here - http://www.airbornesappersscotland.co.uk/

 Meetings take place at 1300 hrs. on the third Sunday of every second month from January, within The Royal British Legion, Central Branch, Rodney Street, Edinburgh. Please come and join us at one of our meetings, you will be made very welcome.

Aldershot Military Power Station (AMPS)

Aldershot was thus beginning to take shape as a major military station and although the two hutted camps were constructed only as temporary accommodation they soon became the permanent home of the troops returning from the Crimea.

In the 1880s and 1890s the huts were gradually replaced by permanent brick barracks with schools, hospitals, a reservoir, sewage works, gas works, power station, indeed everything, even its own bye-laws, needed to make Aldershot Camp the only complete military town built in the Kingdom since the Roman occupation.

Aldershot became the home of the 1st and 2nd Divisions comprising the bulk of the 1st British Army Corps, and it was from Aldershot that the British Expeditionary Forces set out for France in 1914 and again in 1939. Reviews, manoeuvres, sporting events, the famous Searchlight Tattoos and a military population of 25,000 had made Aldershot synonymous with "The Home of the British Army".

In the first forty years of this century Aldershot was to witness the complete transformation of the Army, from one which fought shoulder to shoulder in open fields to the mobile and armoured force of the type that we know today. The first military motor car came to Aldershot for trials in 1904, and the first aeroplane flew in this country in 1908, developed by S F Cody, an instructor at the Royal Engineers Balloon School at Farnborough.

In 1939 when the main body of the regular Army departed for France, Aldershot became the base for the Canadian Army in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war, while many British units and formations continued to use Aldershot as a transit area before embarking for North Africa, Europe and almost every theatre of war.

When the Canadians left in 1945 a complete change was to take place in the character of the camp for it became a great training centre for the National Service army, including the famous Mons Officer Cadet School. It embraced, too, the depots and training centres of eight Corps of the British Army and the home for the newly formed Parachute Regiment.

For nearly 50 years Aldershot became synonymous with 'The Paras'. However 1999 saw the disbandment of the 5th Airborne Brigade, of which they had formed a major part. Aldershot is now home to 12 (Mechanised) Brigade.

A hundred years can see a lot of changes and the Army of today is vastly different from that for which "The Camp at Aldershott" was built. Above all, the soldier of today is a totally different to their Victorian counterpart. This was recognised when, in the early 1960s, National Service was ended and the Army became once more a dedicated professional, all-regular force.

The decision was made to build for this Army a new home on the site of its old one, and to build it on radically different principles from those which had governed the buildings of the old camp.

The tradition of the past was that each military unit would be self contained with everyone living "on the premises". The core was the parade-ground, around which were the barrack blocks, dining halls (after dining halls replaced the barrack-room as the venue for meals), workshops, stores, armouries and married quarters.

The new plan envisaged something totally different, the basic principle of which was to make a distinct division between the soldiers' living and working areas. In particular married quarters were henceforth to be built quite apart from the barracks, in the form of estates on the periphery of the garrison. Also, the living quarters of single men were to afford them the opportunity to get away from their places of work at the end of the day.

It was recognised that, to rebuild the new town in this radically different mode, it would be necessary literally to demolish the old and start all over again. Over two decades that is what was done.

The rebuilding programme started in 1960 and under Government pressure to speed up and modernise building practices. The concept dictated that pre-fabricated materials must be used. Other innovations included a modern electricity generating station, the waste heat which is used to warm buildings, and a totally new sewage disposal system.

The finished result was very much a product of its period and opinions about it vary. The buildings have proved vastly expensive to maintain and have suffered fearful condensation and ventilation problems in England's cold damp, winter atmosphere. But the landscaping of the new camp has given a feeling of space that was lacking in the serried ranks of Victorian barrack blocks of Stanhope and Marlborough Lines.

The 1960s barracks stand as a monument to the now discredited form of flat roofed factory built module construction that persisted for twenty years, particularly in local authority and other public buildings. Since 1976 however new barracks have been built in brick with pitched roofs.

Cities: 

Aldershot Staff Band

I've added this unit at the request of Len Ostheimer, who rightly pointed out that there was no particular way to find other band members on the rest of the site.  I know nothing about the band, how big it is or how long it's been established etc, so if any of you could take a minute away from your melody making to let me have some info to put here, I'd appreciate it.  REgards, Gordon

Cities: 

Base Workshops REME

Sorry to have a REME unit here - apparently some sappers were attached there in the 50s, 60s or 70s.

REgards,

Gordon

 

 

Cities: 

Boys Squadron

This is a holding page for this unit until someone sends me some interesting information to put here.  Thanks

Cities: 

CVHQ

This page is here so you can add CVHQ to your service history.  I had the following from Perry Dawson, but if you can tell me more then please drop me an email.

CVHQRE is central volunteer headquarters Royal Engineers. They were mainly Regular Soldiers, based at Minley manor. Supported by NRPS and members of 111 Engr as and when required ( advance / rear party, G10, collecting vehicles etc) They were the admin and  training wing for all the TA specialist units based there. (111 Engr Regt comprised of 130 & 120 Fld Sqns, 198 park Sqn and attached Personnel). Plus you had the STRE Units.

From the training side, CVHQRE had CI, SMI and PSI's.  Admin had Chief Clerk, pay, joining instructions etc.

QM, RQMS etc was also based at Minley. The PSI Chef was borrowed from 1 & 3 training Regt accross the road at Gib Barracks.

Hope this helps.
Regards
Perry Dawson, (Donkey)

Cities: 

RETA (Training Unit for TA)

The unit (5 people) is based in Buller Barracks, Aldershot it is the link between Regular and RE TA Training, its headed by an Retd Major with 4 Regular RE WO2 in post, the chain of command comes under HQ E in C, Gib Barracks.

4 Regular QMSI who look after RE TA Trade Training for MT, Sigs, Plant and Combat. 

Cities: 

TA - HQ 8 Engr Bde - CIS Tp

Created at the request of Ryan Westwood, this page is a holding page for this unit until someone gives me some more info to post here.  In the meantime, you can add photos to the squadron page and make sure you're mentioned in the history!  REgards,

Gordon

Communication Information Systems (CIS) Troop 8 Force Engineer Brigade is a small unit that provides communications, administration and real life support for Headquarters 8 Force Engineer Brigade. 

This would mean the CIS Troop supporting the Head Quarters when it is deployed on a NATO sized incursion and attached to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. You could also be mobilised as an individual to work with one of the many Royal Engineer or other associated cap badges, enabling you to gain valuable military experience whilst working with regular soldiers.

To enable this there is a diverse group of cap badges and trade sets. Some of the trades available within the Troop are as follows:

Combat Engineer  - Royal Engineers 
Command Control and Communications - Royal Engineers
Driver  - Royal Engineers
Electrician - Royal Engineers
Vehicle Mechanic - Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers
Chef - Royal Logistics Corps
Clerk  - Adjutant Generals Corps

Cities: