Did you serve here...
History of BAOR
Canadian Inf Bde
72 Section SIB HQ Haus Erna Bad Rothenfelde 1953
Courtesy of Mr C T Shuter
"I was called up on 1st November 1951, posted to 1 Training Regt. RAOC at Parson Barracks, Aldershot.
After personnel selection, I was reccomended for Military Police, and posted on 14th November 1951 to Inkerman Barracks, Woking, the Depot and Training Establishment of the Royal Military police. After 20 weeks training, I was posted to 1 Corps Provost Company at Bad Rothenfelde. In December 1952, I went on a Special Investigation Branch training course at Woking, and after a short time at SIB HQ in London, was returned to Bad Rothenfelde where I became a sergeant investigator with 72 Section SIB.
In October 1953 the section was moved to Roberts Barracks, Osnabruck, from our HQ at Haus Erna in Bad Rothenfelde.
72 Section are still stationed in Roberts Barracks, having been there for the past 54 years.
Bad Rothenfelde housed 1 Corps Provost Company, I remember 101 provost Company were at Bielefeld, I can't remember the name of the barracks.
I know that 2 Infantry Division Provost Company were at Dusseldorf.
6 Armoured Division Provost Company had a section at Munster, nearly next door to the Church Army bookshop and cafe, quite near to the cathedral.
1 Corps Pro Coy had the job of securing Corps HQ and the many senior officers therein although most of our time was spent signing routes and convoying Corps HQ vehicles all over the British sector of Germany on exercise. The function of 1 Corps was at that time to coordinate the efforts of the British and Canadian armies in their efforts to stop the Russian hordes from reaching the English Channel.
72 Section covered an area from the Baltic in the north (we had a one man detachment at Oldenburg) to the Dutch border at Appledorn, and took in such places as Osnabruck, Munster, Minden, Essen, investigating all serious crime and all sudden deaths including fatal traffic accidents.
I was demobbed on 26th November 1953.
As MP's our kit comprised 2 battledresses, 2 peaked caps, 2 sets denims, 2 sets white webbing ( belt, gaiters,crossbelt, pistol holster, ammunition pouch) 2 pairs ammo boots, as a motor cyclist I also had 2 pairs of jodphurs, 1 pair long legged DR boots, and 1 crash helmet) We also had large and small packs with the webbing straps to support them, boot brushes,button stick, mess tins, knife fork and spoon.
We spent an inordinate amount of our pay on white blanco, boot polish and brasso. Everything we owned had to fit into our one black kit bag.
I Corps Pro Coy was equipped with BSA 500cc motor cycles, Wilys jeeps, and several 15cwt trucks of various makes.
During an exercise in 1952, one of our NCO's spotted a Russian Military Mission vehicle in a restricted zone(we were expecting an airborne drop, the biggest since the end of the war, and a large area had been placed out of bounds for the Russians). The car was followed but lost, and we spent a very uncomfortable 2 days without sleep looking for it. We never found it, but the powers that be decided that a number of RMP NCO's should go to Wolfsburg, collect new Volkswagens, and deploy outside the Russian Military Mission building in Bad Salzuflen. Every time a Russian vehicle left the building, it was followed by a pair of MP's in their spanking new VW's, to whereever they went. Most of the time, it was straight to the border with the Russian sector, at which point the Russians waved goodbye, and the MP's sat and waited for them to return. It was one of the silliest exercises I has ever come across, and I can't remember how long it went on for.
72 Section SIB had volkswagens, Wilys jeeps with metal winter canopies, a Canadian Chevrolet 15 cwt, and the OC had an Opel car.
Our OC was a Captain, we had a WO2, and 8 sergeants. We employed 2 civilian interpreters who accompanied us on investigations, 2 typist/ interpreters who worked in the office, 2 housemaids who cvleaned the building, and a civilian cook who did her best to poison us with her awful food. I seem to remember that we obtained our basic foodstuffs from the RASC in Bielefeld, and our more luxurious items like booze and cigarettes from the NAAFI at Herford. Spirits cost seven shillings and sixpence a bottle, and best cigarettes cost one shilling for 20. Beer, which was awful Watneys Red Barrel was about ninepence a bottle, but not much was drunk, gin was the favourite tipple in our mess".
Mr C T Shuter
HQ 1 Corps Provost Coy, Bad Rothefelder1952
Courtesy of Mr C T Shuter
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