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St Sebastian Barracks
 
Headquarters:
 
6th Armoured Division 1952 (1)
3rd Armoured Division
3rd Armoured Division Headquarter and Signal Regiment
6th Armoured Brigade
Closed 30 April 1993 
(1) HQ formed here in May 1952.
 
I was posted to San Sebastian Barracks in Korbecke between 1979-1981 after leaving Belgium. The barracks was home to Headquarters 3rd Armoured Division and to a Squadron of 3 ADSR. A Sherman Tank provided the gate guard to the entrance. The remainder of the Signal Regiment and a Transport Sqn was located in Salamanca Barracks, near Soest, with an Army Air Corps Regiment located on its own airfield outside Soest. San Sebastian Barracks was handed over to the British by the 4th Canadian Mechanised Brigade, who moved to Lahr in Southern Germany, and was still fitted out with some Canadian furniture. It also included a 5 wing military prison outside the perimeter of the barracks which was used as stores when I was there. However, the thing that San Sebastian was most famous for was it overlooked the Mohne Dam, slightly damaged by the RAF during WW2 and indeed the remains of a Lancaster Bomber were reputed to have been left at the bottom end of the dam. Soest was a mixed Belgian/West German/British military garrison and the families NAAFI was located in Soest itself. The local gastatte, known to all as the Shack, which was located approximately 500 metres from the entrance to the barracks served the best Jaegerschnitzel I have ever tasted in my life.
M

 

 

Prior to this being HQ 3 Div, it was HQ 6 Bde and Sig Sqn (until 1977(ish)). Some of you may remember a newspaper called 'Sixth Sense', which I belive is still around. It originated as an in-house paper for 6 Bde (hence the title) and eventally expanded to all of BAOR but retained its title. The strange thing was, it's production was not officialy sanctioned or funded and the staff was an editor, an assistant (who was an officer's wife) and an office junior (who was an oficer's daughter). The manpower was provided by hidden postings, one man from each division. No one had any previous experience, but all mucked in and the job always got done. The only permanent feature, and the only one who knew what he was doing, was the editor, Dick Browne. If the stories were to be believed, he was a former WO2 in the RASC who was posted to Nuremberg at the end of WW2 as assistant to Albert Pierrepoint (the official UK hangman). On leaving the Army he stayed in Germany and married a local girl whose's father owned half of Werl. He certainly arrived for work in a yellow Porche and wore very expensive suits. Running the paper was a hobby, for which he was paid as the lowest grade civilian clerk, just to keep the books right. I was one of the 'unofficial' staff for the first half of 1977 and looking forward to another six months when I was informed my battalion just couldn't possibly manage another tour of Belfast without me. Just as an aside, those of you who ever marched in or out a married quarter will understand the irony of this. I was the first soldier to march into one of the former Canadian quarters, which was full of the most beautiful wooden furniture. The LSL WO2 who marched us in had a 4 tonner parked outside with two labourers who removed the furniture as it checked off and smashed it to match wood as it was too good for us!!!!!!!!! Only those who've been there would know this is quite true. On march out, the same WO2 charged us for a nail hole in a bathroom that had a two foot square hole on the opposite wall ready for a new boiler to be fitted! Happy days.
James Clark (late Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)