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History of BAOR
Canadian Inf Bde
In Theatre Schooling
BAOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
It was a Cabinet Level Decision by the 1945 Labour Government that before families could join the entitled servicemen and certain military sponsored civilians in the British Zone of Germany (OP UNION) plans for an education system, equivalent to the current standards in the UK, to be available to all entitled personnel (military or civilian), irrespective of service or status/rank,had to be in place. The provision of primary education was relatively easily solved by the provision of small schools in all the large garrisons and individual more isolated major units. The problem of secondary education (for children above the age of 11) was more complex with the 1000 potential pupils scattered over an area the size of Wales. A co-educational comprehensive Boarding System was the only sensible solution although this was totally alien to the majority of parents and children as well as the staff. Prince Rupert School Wilhemshaven opened in July 1947 in the Naval Barracks attached to the former Kriegsmarine Dockyard with 70 pupils for a one month trial. The experiment was judged a success and 250 pupils joined for the Autumn Term. King Alfred School Ploen was to follow in the Summer of 1948 with initially 500, subsequently 600 pupils. There were also small secondary day schools in Hamburg and Berlin for a time but these were not viable and closed in the early 50s, the pupils being transferred to KAS and PRS. The provision of Boarding School places peaked in 1953 with the opening of Windsor School Hamm.
However the signing of the German Peace Treaty, the restructuring/redeployment of BAOR and RAF (G) into the British Elements of the new NATO Force based in West Germany and the Status Forces Act which limited BAOR to a maximum of 55 thousand all ranks and increasing infrastructure costs meant that the existing system had to be radically revised. King Alfred School Ploen closed in the Autumn of 1959 and Windsor School Hamm was divided into two separate schools. Queens School Rheindahlen had opened in 1955 to provide day secondary school facilities for the children living in the new NATO Headquarters and adjacent British Garrisons and RAF Stations in the lower Rhineland. Day secondary schools were opened up in other major garrisons where there was sufficient demand, though the more academic with the exception of those in the Rheindahlen area were required to board at PRS or the Windsor Schools. PRS Wilhemshaven closed in 1972 but the name and traditions were transferred to a new day school adjacent to the then BMH Rinteln. Windsor School Hamm closed in 1983 but a small replacement boarding facility for the more academic was created at Kent School Hostert. In 1987 there was further rationalisation, both Kent School Hostert and Queens Rheindahlen closed and were amalgamated on the enhanced latter site and retitled Windsor School, Small weekly boarding annexes to cater for pupils from the more distant garrisons were opened at Rinteln, Sundern and Rheindahlen.
Summary of British Forces Education Service Secondary Schools
Prince Rupert School
King Afred School
Day (details incomplete)
Berlin 1947-50, early 70s-1992
Queens Rheindahlen 1955-1987
Cornwall School Dortmund mid 60s
Gloucester School Hohne 1960s onwards
Kent School Hostert 1960s-1987
Kings School Sundern 1960s onwards
Lancaster School Osnabruck 1960s
Prince Rupert School Rinteln 1972 onwards
Edinburgh School Münster mid 1960s
Windsor School Rheindahlen 1987 onwards
Mr Peter Watson
I notice that you mention the B.F.E.S. School "Prince Rupert". There was one other which was in existence from 1949 to 1959, and that was "King Alfred School" located on the shores of the Grosser Ploener See in Schleswig Holstein. This school was the best in Germany -I know because it was mine!
In 1992 the, then, Secretary of State for Defence Archie Hamilton was asked for a listing of Armed Forces Bases outside of the UK that had on-site schooling for children of service personnel. His answer can be found
Some of these schools are no longer in existence, but any school names, dates, etc would be welcome
The web page
will show those schools still open in Germany.
The web page
shows one school in Holland and one in Belgium.
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