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 Glamorgan Barracks
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German
II Abteilung Flakregiment 54 
 
Infantry
1/5 Bn Welch Jun 1945-Jun1946
1 BW Jun 1946-Apr 1950
 
REME 
130 Area Wksp REME May 1948-Jan 1950
4 Inf Wksp REME Jan 1950-Oct 1961
56 Stn Wksp REME 1961-Jun 1967
REME Technical Training School BAOR Apr 1950-Sep 1961
77 Tels Wksp REME  Jun 1952-1960 (1)
77 (Special) TelsWksp REME 1960-1967
19 Electronic Base Wksp REME 1967-1970
18 Fd Wksp REME Nov 1970-Aug 1977
 
RA
36 Guided Weapon Regt RA Nov 1961-1964 (2)
36 Hvy Air Defence Regt RA 1964-1966
 
RCT
4 Armd Div Tpt Regt RCT 196?-1977 (3)
3  Armd Div Tpt Regt 1977-1993
 
ACC
Army Catering Corps School 1952-Jun 1962
 
Closed 1 March 1993
 
(1) 'Special' added to the title in 1960. 
(2) The Regiment arrived from Mansergh Barracks and were retitled as 36th Heavy Air Defence Regiment RA in 1964. On leaving in 1966 they moved to Napier Barracks, Dortmund.
(3) Moved to St George's Barracks, Minden  in August 1977.
 

Guardroom complex - main gate just off the picture to the right. These NCOs are about to receive their Long Service and Good Conduct medals.
Courtesy of R F Grevatte-Ball
 
Glamorgan Barracks, situated on the southern boundary of Duisburg and known to the locals as the ‘Alter Flak Kaserne’, was the sole NATO military camp in Duisburg . Duisburg is a vibrant city in the Ruhr complex, with a large Barge Port at the junction of the Rivers Rhine and Ruhr, several steel works, massive railway sidings (all still steam engines in the 70’s) and great shops! Soldiers loved the posting as the resident UK regimental commanders always cultivated a close relationship with the Stadt authorities, which was warmly returned. The upshot was that, should a soldier get into ‘trouble down town’, the local civil police merely returned him to the barrack gates, had a word with the Guard Commander and left any punishment to the regiment! Not so in the next city to the south, namely Düsseldorf, where a soldier could expect to end up in a German civil police cell, with all the resultant trouble that that entailed!

To the west of the barracks fence Glamorgan Barracks faced a large furniture shop, then a steelworks and then the mighty River Rhine. On its east boundary and between the main barracks and its Officers Mess and officers married accommodation (MQ) ran the busy main road between Duisburg and Düsseldorf (see under HQ Rhine Area). A tram station into the city was a short walk away. An important road junction lay immediately outside the barracks main gate and driving towards the east through the suburb of Wedau, one firstly passed a massive cemetery, an artificial lake complex, beyond which was extensive woodland, an Olympic rowing lake, another massive railway marshalling yard complex and then access to an Autobahn.

The barracks was built by the Luftwaffe as the ‘base’ for the Ruhr’s anti-aircraft gun defences for the Duisburg area and had extensive cellars under every building for ammunition storage and as air raid shelters. Its Officers Mess had, like all ex Luftwaffe camps, an excellent dining room complete with ‘minstrels gallery’ where a small band played music during formal dining nights. In the early 70’s the local steelworks had a scare when they found an unexploded bomb whilst undergoing building work, soon identified by the bomb disposal people as not Allied as everyone had expected, but a German one dropped on the US army whilst they crossed the Rhine. The barracks had a varied assortment of UK units in the 1950’s but by the mid 60’s the RCT had settled in with a transport regiment for a stay that lasted until the 1990’s. In the 1970’s the only other unit was a REME specialist Electronic Base Workshop, mainly civilian manned. As an isolated Station, Duisburg rated a small BFES Library, a Padre and a doctor. Married Quarters were always a problem, with the majority being either at Hubblerath and Rattingen in Düsseldorf, or in Mülheim, all some distance away. Young married soldiers with few ‘points’ stood little chance of being allocated an MQ. However there were plenty of German flats for rent in the immediate area, but the ‘downside’ to this was that the young wife, who was just out from the UK and who spoke no German, found herself surrounded by a culture and a language that she did not understand, with the added misery that her husband was frequently away on exercise. Alas, several of these marriages did not last long, even though unit ‘families officer’s’ tried their best.

 

Looking east - RHQ in the background with the Guardroom/cells to the left. Visiting German Marine Search and Rescue 'Sea King' helicopter - 1973.

Courtesy of R F Grevatte-Ball

4 Armoured Division Transport Regiment RCT comprised three working squadrons, 6,11 and 21 Transport Squadrons RCT and the usual regimental HQ. I was their Adjutant. 11 and 33 Sqns. each supported one of the two brigades of the 4th Division, whilst 6 was an Artillery Support squadron, I think mainly used for the transport of air defence ammunition, including Rapier. Our ‘task vehicles’ were the 4 ton Bedford RL, the 10 ton AEC Mk I and the HMLC (High Mobility Load Carrier) Stalwart. CALM (Crane Attachment Lorry Mounted) were fitted to every 4th vehicle and many ‘Eager Beaver’ FLT (Fork Lift Trucks) were also held. All this MHE (Mechanical Handling Equipment) was to speed the transfer of palletised ammunition, which in war is the chief C Sups (Combat Supplies) commodity carried. We also had a number of fuel tankers and, at great expense, a large open air hard standing area within the barracks was modified with special drainage traps, at considerable expense, for these tankers to be parked on and drip fuel in safety! An early example of environmental contamination control!


The chapel. A small chapel formed part of the building by the main gate that also housed the Guardroom and its associated cells. Just before Glamorgan Barracks was vacated in the early 1990’s a coloured stained glass window with the RCT Corps Crest was removed and sent back to the UK to the Depot Church of the RLC (Royal Logistic Corps) at Deepcut, Surrey, where it still resides in the entrance porch.

The CO of 4 Armoured Division Transport Regiment, Glamorgan Barracks in a Stalwart swimming the River Rhine.
Courtesy of  Courtesy of R F Grevatte-Ball


Some amusing stories:

 

In 1972 the Stadt invited NATO navies to visit their port. Due to Rhine bridge restrictions the largest vessels that could sail so far inland were small mine sweepers and other coastal protection craft, so their ships captains were fairly junior in rank. Now one of our vehicle types, the HMLC Stalwart, was amphibious, so our CO, after a suitable warning signal about a ‘senior officers review afloat’ had been sent off, had a Stalwart ‘swim’ in the river Rhine past the moored NATO vessels, with him standing in the cargo bay to take their salute. Much consternation by the navies (we-the army in our Stalwart had no ‘ensign’ to dip so should they dip their ships ensigns? – but our CO was senior to them etc…) However it was a great joke and it led to very convivial ‘on board’ drinks afterwards!

I have mentioned the Wedau sailing lake and the extensive woodland thereabouts. Local German folk law was that towards the end of WWII a German Field Marshal had, sadly, committed suicide in the woods rather than surrender and that his ADC had faithfully buried him in an unmarked grave – in full uniform, together with his ‘Field Marshal’s Baton’ . Dog walkers from the married quarters were always hoping that their dogs might find this valuable baton! We sailed dinghies on the lake, but never on weekend afternoons, as the German ‘gin palace’ powerboat owners would then take their vessels out for a spin and they would collide with anything that got in their way, apparently never having heard of the nautical rule that ‘power always gives way to sail’!

Trams. Duisburg’s streets are cris-crossed by tram lines, many right in the middle of the road, straddling both vehicle lanes and trams always have the priority! So many UK soldiers on their first cautious drive into the busy city streets (& still not used to driving on the ‘wrong side of the road’) with their brand new tax free British car, had a very ‘rude awakening’ with a tram horn either right behind them or fast approaching on a collision course!. Nowhere to swerve to in safety! But one soon learnt where to keep a very watchful eye out for them!

Looking west - from RHQ - parade ground, vehicle park, then the flat roofed offices/accommodation block, then fence, then furniture shop/factory and finally the steelworks.
Courtesy of  Courtesy of R F Grevatte-Ball


Traffic Lights. Outside the barracks entrance was an important crossroads, controlled by traffic lights. All four roads displayed the German diamond ‘priority’ sign and this was the problem! About once a year the lights would fail and no one would give way at the crossroads = one almighty jam of vehicles with horns blowing! We would deploy our regimental policemen as traffic cops to start sorting out the chaos before the German police arrived.

‘Storming The Gates’ ceremony. Germans living in a nearby suburb had a charitable society that, once a year, would storm the main gate whilst dressed up in garish jester like costumes. After a suitable period of ‘beating them off’, the gates would be opened and the regiment then feasted the attackers for the rest of the day – just an excuse for one big drinking session! But it did further promote Anglo-German relations!

Sometime in the 1980’s the RCT re-positioned its transport regiments in BAOR, certainly 4 Armoured Division Transport Regiment, whilst stationed in Duisburg, was a long way from the rest of its division in Herford. So they moved away (where to?) and 3 Armoured Division Transport Regiment RCT moved in until the site was vacated sometime in the 1990’s. 3 Armoured Division Transport Regiment RCT’s squadrons were 6 Artillery Support Squadron, 21 Squadron and 35 Squadron.

Was there any ‘downside’ to such a happy BAOR location? Well the pollution from the steelworks chimneys was terrible, often a yellow haze persisted all day. The paintwork on cars was usually blistered and ‘etched’ by the end of a three year tour, especially if always parked in the open!. The pollution did suddenly improve however when the German Government started making the steelworks bosses personally culpable for their poisoned concoctions and threatening them with prison sentences and not just fines!

R F Grevatte-Ball

 
The following four photographs are kind courtesy of The Assosiation of 36 Heavy Air Defence Regiment RA. Thank you to them. They can be found at www.36regimentra.org.uk



Quarter Guard at Glamorgan Barracks, 1966.

 

I served in Glamorgan Barracks from May '82 to May '84 as a young Troop Commander in 6 Artillery Support Squadron RCT. We were colocated with, but not a part of, 3 ADTR. We were UCADMIN, in other words we lived there but were part of the Artillery Division of 1st British Corps rather than 3 Armd Div. That didn't cause much rivalry! Your pictures of the barracks brought back many, many memories, particularly the ones of what you call Block 19 which look very like 6 Sqn's (and my Troop's) vehicle lines. They were originally garages for 88mm guns and their Sdkfz7 tractors (they still had the Luftwaffe registration numbers on the walls) and they weren't big enough for our ancient AEC Militant Mk1 10 tonners. So, all of our task vehicles sat outside on the park in front and we used the garages as offices and for our 4 tonners, Land Rovers and stores. I do have a couple of pictures of the barracks somewhere and I'll try and dig them out. My memories of Duisburg are universally good - it was my first BAOR tour as a subaltern and the Cold War was at it's height. The barracks has now sadly been demolished but the (superb) Officers' Mess is still in existence opposite the barracks on the other side of Route 8. The rather dodgy 'Annex' where I lived has been converted into a conference centre but the main part of what was a Luftwaffe Mess dripping with history still remains. I have so many good memories of serving there - particularly of walking across Route 8 at 6 o'clock in the evening in No 1 Dress Blues to mount the Guard as Duty Officer. The traffic used to stop and everyone would give you abuse for looking like an SS officer. It was as much as I could do to stop myself drawing my sword and calling out the Guard!

AM

 



Main Gate.
 
British Barracks Struck in Bombing........
 
LEAD: Bomb explosions rocked a British Army barracks in West Germany early today, slightly wounding nine soldiers, the army said. Gunmen believed to be the attackers opened fire on police officers while escaping, the police reported.

Bomb explosions rocked a British Army barracks in West Germany early today, slightly wounding nine soldiers, the army said. Gunmen believed to be the attackers opened fire on police officers while escaping, the police reported.
In a statement from Dublin, the Irish Republican Army took responsibility for the bombing. There was no indication whether the attack was intended specifically as a reprisal for recent British strikes against Irish Republican Army targets outside Britain, notably the killing of three suspected guerrillas in Gibraltar last March.
The attack occurred at the Glamorgan Barracks in Duisburg, a city in the Ruhr, West Germany's industrial heartland.
It was the first reported assault against the 56,000 uniformed British servicemen based in West Germany since three off-duty soldiers were killed during weekend leave in the Netherlands on May 1. The Irish Republican Army said its guerrillas carried out that attack. On May 3, a car bomb found near another British base in West Germany was defused before it could explode.

The British Army said two bombs weighing around 20 pounds each tore a hole 9 by 15 feet in the barracks today and blew off part of the roof. About 50 soldiers were sleeping in the barracks at the time, and injuries were caused mainly by flying glass from broken windows. None of the wounded were hospitalized, the army said.
The explosion sent debris flying around the barracks and shattered windows of nearby factories.

The barracks houses soldiers from the Royal Corps of Transport. Speeding Car Evades Police
The police said the attackers had apparently cut their way through a steel fence surrounding the building and placed the bombs next to an outer wall while a getaway car awaited them.

Shortly after the explosion, a West German police patrol car gave chase to a speeding sedan about 600 yards away from the barracks.

The occupants of the sedan opened fire on the police with an automatic weapon that sprayed roadside buildings with bullets but caused no injuries, a West German police spokesman said. The group escaped, and by late afternoon no arrests had been reported.

By Alan Cowell, Special to the New York Times
Published: July 14, 1988


Right dress!

 
Murder
 
Sergeant Reginald Walters REME was murdered in the barracks on the 1st December 1953. His murder was planned by his German wife and REME colleague acting Sergeant Major Emmett-Dunn. It was made to look like a suicide hanging but a SIB/RMP Sgt. was suspicious due to rumours around the camp that Emmett-Dunn was having an affair with the dead soldier’s wife. His suspicions were confirmed when Emmett-Dunn married the widow in Leeds the following year. The case was re-opened and it was found that he had strangled Sgt. Walters and "strung him up" with the help of his brother who was also serving in the unit to look like suicide.They had even placed an upturned bucket at his feet for effect. When the case was re-opened the brother panicked and turned Queens’s evidence.
Emmett-Dunn was jailed for 10 years in Exeter Prison UK. Had the murder took place in the UK he would have been hung as he was sentenced to death but as the then FRG had no death sentence he could not be taken back to the UK and executed so he was given a life sentence.
                                                                                                                                            Mr Allan Jaques, late REME

 

 

77 Tels was in bottom LH corner of view on website, in a rectangular plot which we reached having passed the 4Cmd W/shop. In the attached photos {of a parade where one of our Sgts (Ted Owen??) got his LSGC medal}, the buildings were the workshops and the admin block was at rt angles at the far end. The buildings formed these boundaries, the other two being 'chain link' (tennis court) fencing.
I'm sure the admin block backed onto the LH boundary of the barracks and I can't remember anything beyond us. There may be a clue in the number painted on the far end of the building in one of the shots.

Ex Sgt Wally Barnes REME

 

The following photos were taken by Eric Zeppenfeld, a local historian, prior to the camp being demolished last year (2006).

Main Gate
 
At Glamorgan Bks Duisburg there was also an Army Catering Corps School for many years. This school ran many upgrading courses and saved the need of sending soldiers back to Aldershot in the days of rail and ferries across the North Sea from Hook of Holland! I completed my 12 week B1 course at this school amd met my future wife in Duisburg. That was in 1961.
Bob H


Main road
 
I spent 6 weeks in Duisburg at Glamorgan Bks in Aug / Sept 1960 on a trade course, it was 4 Infantry Workshop REME then. I remember there was a Tiger tank on a stand and it had a shell stuck in its front armour.
Across the road was some sort of chemical plant and this massive chimney belched yellow smoke every so often.
Cfn Raymond Skinner

Cinema and Gym
 
Murder in Barracks

This was before my time but, when I was promoted to Sgt in about May '60 and moved into the Sgts Mess accommodation block, one of the staircases there still carried the chalk mark made by the police to show the position of the rope by which the victim had been hung.

Our Quarter Master, Sgt George Bull, REME, was stationed in Glamorgan barracks at the time of the murder trial and, on one occasion, spent a night in a cell in the guard room having enjoyed a little too much beer. The next morning he was severely told off for his untidy appearance by Sgt Emmett-Dunne who was in an adjoining cell awaiting his court marshal for the murder - George felt the bloke had quite a cheek considering the relative severity of their crimes!

(Co-incidentally I've was told just last night by one of the members of our branch of the REME Association that Sgt Emmett-Dunne was his platoon instructor during basic training.)

Arrival of RA Regiment

Before the arrival of the RA Regiment, we were told to keep quiet about it as it would be armed with guided weapons and we did not want to alarm the local population. One weekend during this period I was Garrison Orderly Sergeant when a couple of chaps from my unit came in from town after an evening out and told me that a two civvies were quizzing them persistently about the expected regiment. They thought it suspicious and had come ahead to advise us while a couple more buddies kept these 'suspects' under their eye. The Orderly Officer was 'not available' to advise me so I contacted the RMP base who told me to hand them over to the German civil police.

When the suspects arrived at the gates I got my chaps to take them to the barracks and keep them happy until the police arrived. Unfortunately they decided to lock them in an empty room which caused a row and resulted in my putting them in a couple of cells where they claimed to be Aussies staying with family in the town and 'what a reception to get from a ......... of poms!' to put it mildly. When the police arrived our suspicions seemed to be confirmed as at least one of the 'Aussies' was fluent in German and tramped all over my poor attempts to tell the story to the police. They were taken away shouting and struggling.

The following week some SIB chaps arrived to question all those involved as it seemed the 'Aussies' strongly resembled someone they were looking for in connection with espionage activities elsewhere, but we heard no more. (If you put this on the site and the Aussies read it and were innocent, give them my apologies but not my address!!)
Ex Sgt Wally Barnes REME


Block 10
 
Storming The Gates
 

Glamorgan Barracks in Duisburg stands witness to over half a century of military and political change. The camp was purpose built in 1937, to house a Luftwaffe anti-aircraft regiment stationed in Duisburg as part of the defence of important industrial targets in the Ruhr. After the war, the barracks were repaired and occupied by 1st/5th The Welch Regiment, and rumour has it that they renamed the barracks as well. Since that time Glamorgan Barracks has played host to a wide variety of units from many differing cap-badges, including The Black Watch and the Royal Artillery, finally passing into the care cf the Royal Corps of Transport in the mid-sixties. 3 Armoured Division Transport Regiment moved to Duisburg in 1976, replacing their sister regiment 4 Armoured Division Transport Regiment. In doing so, they became the custodians of a barracks steeped in history and tradition.

 

The location of the barracks provided the basis for flourishing Anglo-German relations, which the Regiment has sought to nurture and strengthen. It played an active role in a wide variety of local clubs and societies within the Stadt, and held an 'Open Day' each year which became a highly popular event in the local calendar. One of its highlights was the unique ceremony of 'Storming the Gates'. As part of the German Karneval season, the Karneval King and his supporters of the local Red Sparks Karneval Company march on, and demand admittance to the camp. This is denied, and the gates are slammed. A mock battle ensues, in which the camp guard valiantly attempts to defend the barracks. In a very colourful and noisy ceremony, the Red Sparks eventually force their way over the gates and into the barracks. Graciously admitting defeat, all members of the Regiment entertain their visitors in the various Regimental Messes, vowing that new year things will be different.

In honour of the close links that exist between the Regiment and the Stadt, the Regiment was granted the Freedom of the City of Duisburg in September 1990.



The roof of Block 10 points a finger in its history beginning with the Luftwaffe.

 

3rd Armoured Division Transport Regiment

 

The 3rd Armoured Division Transport Regiment was so titled in 1976, when it moved from Bulford to Glamorgan Barracks in Duisburg, to provide second line transport support to the 3rd Armoured Division. The Regiment comprised three task squadrons, 6 Artillery Support Squadron, 21 Squadron and 35 Squadron, together with 75 Squadron, its Headquarters Squadron, and a Regimental Workshop REME. It continued to provide second line transport support until the Division returned to the UK in January 1993 to reform as 3 (United Kingdom) Division.

 

The Regiment also' contributed directly to Operation Granby. Whilst

not deployed as a unit, two hundred and fifty officers and soldiers, and over 170 vehides, were provided for other RCT units, either to bring them up to their War Establishments or as Battle Casualty Replacements. The remainder of the Regiment was heavily tasked with the resupply of the 1st Armoured Division from war stocks in BAOR, the movement of stocks from the RAOC Supply Depots being a round - the - dock task throughout the Operation.

 

In January 1993 the Regiment commenced its move to Abingdon to be reformed, renamed and re-capbadged. There, with the assistance 3 Ordnance Battalion, 3 Close Support Regiment Royal Logistic Corps formed, to provide logistic support to 3 (United Kingdom) Division.



Block 10.


Block 10.


Block 10.


Block 8.


Block 7.


Block 22


Block 21


Block 2


Block 2 internal.


Block 2


Block 19


Blocks 19 and 10.


Block 11.


Reme working space. Hurrah The Corps!


Nissen Hut.

 

6 Sqn MT Lines being cleared during the winter.  Somewhere on this photo is the Troop Commander's car, which had been buried by the lads (see below). In the back ground can be seen a short wheel base Series II Land Rover.

Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979

 

Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979

 Again, 6 Sqn Lines after the big melt. In the background can be seen lines of AEC Militant Mark 3 (6x6) 10,000 kg cargo turcks.
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
 11 Sqn's Vehicle Park
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
 

Sqn Veh Lines
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
 
The view across the road.
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
 
The washing machine factorywhich was situated across fromt he barracks.
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
I wouldn't fancy living in one of them Nissen huts. They look like something you would find at Eden Camp.
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
 
Looking between 11 Sqn and 6 Sqn blocks at the then 11 Sqn vehicle park behind the fence in the distance (which later became 35 Sqn vehicle park ).
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979
Top Floor of 6 Sqn Block.
Courtesy of George Frost AKA Jack, ex 6 SQN RCT 1968 to 1974 & 35 SQN RCT 1977-1979

 

 

Duisburg 1960

Courtesy of Cfn Raymond Skinner