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Camp Nieheim
RAOC Depot. Closed 7 September 1993.
The 'crusties' and ex-squaddies I know tend to refer to it as Pömbsen - another, less prominent village nearby. Anyway... I recently (Sunday 4th May 2008)took a drive out to the Nieheim/Pömbsen area to see if I could find the old ammo depot. I never served there but had a nice (ahem!) little stay there whilst on an NBC phase of a regimental exercise in 1999 or so - it appeared to have been left just like the troops had bugged out the week before; black and white page 3 photos in the old blocks, remnants of rat-packs, old uniform odds and sods and general 'squaddie stuff' laying around in the easily accessed buildings. Also numerous typical 'farewell' messages scribbled on the walls prior to the last guys leaving! I did not manage to find it after having a good drive around the area for 45 minutes. On my return home I 'Google-Earthed' it and found it straight away. It sticks out like a sore thumb, being situated roughly to the south-west of Nieheim and to the north of Pömbsen. I kicked myself as I must have driven round the wooded area it lies within a number of times. If one 'Google Earth's' it and zooms in there is a field to the south showing a blue circle which indicates a photograph attachment. It is labelled 'Bilster Berg' and clicking on it opens a window showing a photograph of the old camp from an aerial perspective (derelict, as it stands today). This led me to look into the matter further - a quick Google search of 'Bilster Berg' promptly displays this link: This is a German site which at first glance looks like some kind of old sports car fanciers page... well that's right - it's planned to become a motor racing circuit if I understand correctly (Still working on mein Deutsche)!!! The site has pictures, plans, footage and photos of a race-meet that's already been held there recently. Quite interesting really and good to see someone getting use out of the old place. A bit of limited knowledge and research: 1. I understand that it was an RAOC Ammo Depot and most certainly was referred to as Pömbsen/Pombsen, rather than Nieheim by it's occupants. This is apparent from the abbreviation used on the camp - 'The POO', meaning 'The Pömbsen Orderly Officer'! 2. I've heard it knicknamed 'The Huts on the Hill' by an RLC (ex-RAOC) SSgt I once met who had served there. I think that 5 Bn, 52 Ord Coy were possibly the last Brits there.
John Calvert
Pombsen was indeed an ammunition depot run by the RAOC. When I was there from 1974 to 1977 it was 43 RP Coy 1 CSB. We were in barracks in Paderborn anmd used top commute to Pombsen daily. There was a barracks in Neiheim which consisted of accommodation and a cookhouse. After I left the unit 52 Ord Coy took up residence at Neiheim.
Mike Scott