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Wrexham Barracks
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11 Coy RASC ??-??*
112 Coy RASC ??-??*
113 Coy RASC ??-?? *
114 Coy RASC ??-?? *
17 Coy RASC ?-1965 (2)
38 Sqn RCT 1970-1994 (3)
Higher Education Centre (Germany) 1970-1994 (4)
 Closed 30 June 1994 
 
* - Details of these units are extremely sketchy. Anyone out there who can give firm(er) information? 
(1) Arriving from Moore Barracks, Dortmund. Year unknown.
(2) 17 Company RASC was formed from 5 and 13 Company RASC in November 1963. 5 and 13 Company remained in Wrexham Barracks when 17 Company move to St Davids Barracks in 1965.
(3) 38 Sqn RCT occupied Wrexham Bks in Mülheim, on 10 March 1970 after departing Scotton Barracks. In 1993 the Sqn rebadged to the RLC and disbanded in 1994, handing over the Barracks to the Stadt authorities in August 1994.
(4) The HEC had moved to Rhinedalen in early 1994.

Home of the Higher Education Centre (Germany) where German was taught up to interpreter level, officers were taught towards their Staff Promotion selection exams and potential artificer in the REME had their mathematics brought up to speed. The mixture of an RCT indep Sqn and the HEC was usually calm. It was the only barracks in the town, British or German. Situated on Zepplinstrasse. The camp itself started off as many of the others did - built prior to 1939, due to the expansion of the Wehrmacht. It has now been demolished and the site is used for housing.
 
 
Main Gate, circa 1970
Courtesy of Peter Taylor
 
I ve heard conflicting evidence that the RA were resident prior to the RCT but the RCT were there (38 Sqn RCT) from the late 60`s early 70`s so in the years after the war it possible that another corp or regiment used it. I heard that it was a flak battery barracks during the war protecting the Ruhr industrial area which would tie in with an artillery unit taking over on a one in one out basis as is what happened with hospital units just a change of ownership as they say but nothing definate.

My own view is that as it was the only camp in the town and could possibly have housed 1000 soldiers very few would have passed through the place unlike large training camps like Sennelager and Hohne so there will be very little folklore or memory of the place which is why Im so glad that you are doing your site to at least keep some memory alive.

 Anon
Cook House and NAAFI Canteen
Courtesy of Peter Taylor
 
In March 1957 I was posted to:- LAD REME,113(GT) Coy RASC, 2 Inf Div. Transport Column. BFPO.34 Wrexham Bks. Mulheim Ruhr.Our Formation sign was the "Crossed Keys".On arrival I bunked with "Schoolie" the RAEC Sgt. and he told me that at the end of the war this area had been occupied by the 53rd (Welsh) Division and as a consequence all the barracks had Welsh names.
 
The main road from the left, ran in front of the Barracks,from the city centre to the Cemetery which was to the right ,alongside the married quarters in Steinknappen. A regular tram service, no.13 ran on this road and was used by all. All the camp roads were cobbled, as were most of the ones into town, especially if they were tram routes.

All following directions are as one walks into the barracks. Entering the Bks. the Guardroom was on the right, with a small sentry box between the in & out roads. There were 3 rows of 3 story barrack blocks - top story was not used as accommodation, but could, if needed be used - with an entrance at either end of the front face.The block on the right was 113 Coy. The LAD quarters were entered via the first door on the right on the first floor. On the ground floor, using the second door, on the left was the pay office - Sgt.Peter Russell RAPC. across from him was the CQMS Stores and to the right was the Orderly Room. On the right of the entrance was the office of CSM Don Hellier and next to him was the OC's office, Major Shaw. At the end of this block was the chapel.
 
The middle block was 11 Coy and the third block was Column HQ, RSM Stappard had his office on the ground floor. I met up with him again in 1961 when he was W.O. Penang Leave Centre.The second floor held the Sgts Mess. To the right of this block was a piquet gate leading to the M.Q.s in Steinknappen. To the right of the gate was a tennis court.
 
In front of each block a road led towards the NAAFI which was at right angles to the middle block, behind which was a large parade ground with a row of garages parallel to the NAAFI block. Going down the left hand road, edging the parade ground,one came to the Officers Mess, the main entrance leading to the M.Q. at the bottom of Steinknappen.
 
The row of garages housed the LAD's, 113 on the right. In front of these a very wide road, flanked with large garages led to another row of single story garages.In front of these was a Emergency Water Supply which we used as a swimming pool in summer.
 
Behind these garages, I believe, was the Boiler House. A considerable amount of fuel must have been used because not only were all the blocks heated but also the Married Quarters!!! A desirable side effect of this heating was that the main pipes ran down the roads, however one could be caught unawares if there was black ice on the road to town!!!
 
As part of 2 Inf.Div.113 Coy was equipped with 3 Ton Commers - we still had Jeeps!!! 11 Coy, I believe had Tippers.
At Essen, as part of 2 Div. was a Medical Coy. with RASC drivers with K4 Austin Ambulances. About September 57 we were part of the new "Brigade Groupings" and became 113 (GT.HVY.) Coy RASC.Army Group Transport Column. Our HQ.was at Caernarvon Barracks Dusseldorf. Our new Formation sign was a "Blue shield,a red St.Georges cross with a gold sword on the upright. We said Goodbye to 11 Coy and said Hello to 114 Coy. who brought with them their 10 ton Mageris Deutz and trailers.We re- equipped with 10 ton Sudwerkes and trailers, lost our Jeeps and Morris 1 tons which were exchanged for the new Austin Champs and Humber 1 tons. In the LAD we swapped our Diesel Scammel for a Petrol. When 114 Coy arrived the LAD moved its workshops to the bottom row of garages below the "EWS" . Our First LAD OC was Lt. Little and later Capt. Hoxey. Both were ex rankers and were easy to get on with. Our AQMS were "Red" Skelton and later John Hartley. We also got rid of BSW & BSF nuts & bolts but had to get them back when it was found out that some of the Champs did NOT have Unified threads.So very quickly did our dream of a system of Unified Equipment died!!!!!!!!!

I married in September 57 and in October moved into a Flat in Khulendhal - about 10 minutes walk from the barracks, towards town and over Route 1 The Ruhr Snellvec. These flats were blocks of 4, a washing room in the cellar with a lawn to rear with lines for the washing, next to which was a boiler room that a German civilian controlled the heating. At this time we used to get "Rations" these were free and consisted of fresh veg., bread, a joint, sausage, and bacon.
 
During 1958 we moved to a M.Q.in Steinknappen. Ours was the last house before one met the Officers Quarters, which was fortunate for me because they had their lawns cut for them and mine got cut as well!!!

December 1959 I said a sad goodbye , caught the troop train at Duisberg for "The Hook of Holland" and the overnight troopship to Harwich, train to London and then train to Morecambe Lancs for 6 weeks leave prior to a posting to Singapore but that's another story!
Ted Jones
 
 
 
The barracks on the left shows what is now a residential block. It was completed on 2 April 2002.
 
The Guard Room as seen from above. 
Courtesy of Peter Taylor
 
When I was stationed in Wrexham barracks 1964 with 17 Coy RASC I billeted in the block next to the guardroom, at that time there was a sunken 30 yard firing range behind the block.
ex Dvr. John Mcmillan
 
The Guard Room as it is in 2007
Courtesy of Mr Peter Taylor
 
Often a Sgt. who was disliked by the men was also not a favourite with his peers. One such we had in Wrexham Bks. A most unpleasant person! One January evening while strutting around the outside of the Guardroom as part of his duties as Guard Commander he shouted "Turn that radio down!" His answer was short and sharp. Somebody threw a dustbin at him!!! This displeased him somewhat so he got the Guard to empty the 113 coy lines and parade them outside in Greatcoats - some had pyjamas on underneath!!! He strode up and down the ranks ranting and raving about what he would do if the culprit did not own up! This continued for 1/2 an hour or more when the Orderly Sgt. turned up. He very quickly fell the parade out and let Sgt X know exactly how stupid he had been! Calm returned and the O.S. went back to his bunk in the Sgts Mess. At "Lights Out" X looked up at the offending window and shouted "I will find you!!!" Slow to learn, his answer was immediate. A 7lb. tin of Mansion Polish was whizzed at him!!!

Half way into town on the left was an old barracks which held D.P's - Displaced People - who were, mainly Polish mineworkers. At a bar quite near a rumpus with a few soldiers and DP's broke out. Outnumbered one squaddie ran back to camp to get reinforcements, the Poles also got assistance. The situation gathered momentum with more and more people being drawn into the fray. That night I was Guard Commander. 10 o' clock Staff parade over I sent the 2i/c with the relief Guard to relieve the sentries. Fifteen minutes passed and the relief had not returned, I rang the Orderly Sgt. no answer, I rang the Orderly Officer and the Mess orderly said that the O.O. was not there but he would get him to ring me when he came in. I sent another 2 soldiers to quickly check the vehicle lines and return to me "At the Double!!!" As I watched them running down towards the NAAFI I saw the Main Gate Sentry walking up to the main road, "Where are you going?" I asked. "Just stretching my legs Sarge" he said. "Well stretch them in the Sentry box" I replied!!! I went into the Guardroom, it was empty, no one in it!!! Through the window there was my errant gate guard wandering off up the road again. "Come back here " I yelled "and stay in that box!!!"
 
Thoroughly alarmed, by now my options were limited, I had none!!! I walked outside the block to try to pressgang some replacements for my absentees!!! There wasn't a sound!!! I daren't go in the block because my sole companion would disappear into to the night, as far as I could see, the place was like a tomb! The next minute Major Shaws' Mercedes came roaring in - he always drove fast - "Call out the Guard" he said "quickly" "That's the Guard" I said" and he's only there because I'm here!!! I had never put anyone on a charge before but the next morning there was over 100 on Defaulters!!! I wheeled them in 10 at a time!!! All got the same punishment - and for the life of me I cannot recall what it was - but I do remember that the soldiers who were on guard duty got lumped with the rest, they should have been in serious trouble!!! Had CSM Hellier made a mistake? Unlikely, he was a very good Sgt.Major with a great deal of experience. But then the OC thought that the men were his company but Don knew they were his!!! A couple of days later,walking into camp a civilian stopped me, said my name and then said "You were the G.C. the night of the riot" "Yes" I replied "I was guarding an empty camp" The R.P. corporal shouted up to me "Don't tell him anything!" A week later I got a letter from my mum telling me that the Daily Mail headline read "Lonely Sgt. guards an empty camp in Mulheim" Did I know him?!?

23 Feb 1958 we were on exercise near Kleine Reken sleeping under canvas and it was B........... COLD!!! CSM Hellier came into my stores truck and said that a message on our wireless link had said that the Man.Utd. aeroplane had crashed and that a lot were dead. I asked him for names but the only one he recognised was Frank Swift. I knew that he had stopped playing but even so he had played for Man.City. I said that I thought someone had a funny sense of humour but they had got their facts wrong! On the BBC news later we got confirmation! Do you know where you were that day?
Ted Jones
 

Front View, 2007
Courtesy of Mr Peter Taylor
 
"I was stationed in Wrexham Barracks from 1957 to 1960 with 113 Coy RASC GT. Opposite in an other block was 11 Coy RASC.Many National Servicemen came and went during that time.The MT lines were behind the NAAFI along with the Officers Mess. I am afraid I dont have any photo,s of the camp so it was interesting to see the ones on your site. We used a heavy German diesel called Sudverker but I cannot find any information about them so I might have the name wrong".
D S Osborne.

 

 

I was absolutely delighted to come across your Website and photographs of Wrexham Barracks as I was stationed there 1957 to 1961 with 114 Coy R.A.S.C. which I realised in later years were probably the best years of my life when I was aged 18 to 22 and the lads I was stationed were the best friends I have ever known.

114 coy was on the left as you entered the barracks with the Sergeants mess situated behind and opposite the main road. Just after the guardroom was 113 coy RASC. Then the Cookhouse building with the clock on the top. The parade ground was behind the Cookhouse with the Officers Mess on the left, to the right was the Vehicle Bays and in the far right corner was the Ammunition Dump as it was called then and I well remember the open air Swimming Pool that I went into a few times, those were the days.

114 COY had 10 ton Sudverkers and trailers and 113 COY had 6 ton Sudverkers with trailers. My truck and trailer's registration number was 25XG06.

I have a few black and white photographs mainly taken around the vehicle sheds plus two taken in the WVS room which was situated in the Cookhouse building plus a couple that were taken in a Barracks in Ratingen which I cannot recall the name of.

Major Seager was the Commanding Officer of 114 COY and CSM Stocks was the CSM who I remember had no teeth but he could still shout as you would expect.

I will never forget those days and I well remember the sound of the trams going up and down the main road outside with the bells ringing, how I would love to go back in time; that is not possible but I will always remember.
MAURICE TAYLOR. 23513718

 

The following photographs have been kindly supplied by Maurice Taylor, who has given his permission to post them. Thank you Maurice. I did notice that another contributor was in the same Barracks, different unit. Did you know each other by any chance?

 

 

Maurice (far left) with three QM storemen in their billet below the Sergeant's Mess

 

 

Same four, different pose.

 

 

Only three this time. Who remembers the Tit bits??

 

 

WVS Room in the Cookhouse Building

 

 

Members of A Platoon 114 Company, with Sudverker truck outside vehicle bays. Transport Offices are in the background

 

 

We didn't bend the bumper Sarge!!

 

 

 

 

The three photographs above were taken in the Bierkeller above the WVS Room

CSM Stocks is the gentleman in uniform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Six photographs from an exercise "somewhere in Germany"

 

 

 

 

 

Four photographs of Maurice on a "detail" to a Barracks in Ratingen.

He is unsure of the name, but I would hazard a guess that it was Roy Barracks (closed 1995).

 

To see Wrexham Barracks brought many happy memories of Mulheim. I was stationed there with 1 REGT RMA (ROYAL MALTA ARTILLERY) for three years in the late 1960's. I shared barrack room 101 with four others. I remember that small public house just round the corner from the main gate and the "mutti" who owned the park house on Zeppelinstrasse! I was one of the last to leave with the rear party in April 1970. The transport role was then taken over by 38 Sqn RCT. 1st regt RMA served in the BAOR from 1961 to April 1970.

 

Before moving to Germany, it was the 1st coast regiment but was tranformed into a Transport role when Britain dismantled all Coastal Artillery in 1960. Many of the old gunners from 1st Coast were transferred to the 2nd Light Air Defence Regiment which was based in Malta with regular visits to Cyprus and North Africa.  There was also the Junior Leaders Regt and two other Regiments, 3rd Light Air defence Regt and 11th Heavy Regt. In later years these two Regiments were amalgamated and become the 3/11 Light Anti Aircraft Regiment and were reduced to a Territorial role. Although the RMA was manned mostly by maltese nationals there were a number of British, Canadian and Indian personnel serving in it. The Royal Malta Artillery ceased to be part of the British Army in October 1970 and was handed over to the Maltese Government where it became part of the Malta Land Forces. In the 1970's  after the Air and Maritime Squadrons were set up the name changed to the Armed Forces of Malta.

Carmelo Brown ex- 1st Royal Malta Artillery

 

There is some debate as to when the Royal Malta Artillery actually left British Service. Can anyone shed any light on the subject?

 

For more information concerning the Maltese Armed Forces including the Royal Malta Artillery with the definitive dates of leaving British Service click here

 

With reference to 38 Sqn RCT Wrexham barracks. 38 Sqn was put together mainly from 1 Sqn who had returned from the Middle East. We formed up in Dusseldorf in January 1970 and moved to Wrexham barracks in March/ April to take over the mail run from the Maltese Artillery which had been/was being disbanded. I moved up with advance party eventually taking over the Butchery Dept and then the ration store from Cpl Jack Burrise? I left in 71 and went 68 Sqn in Rheindahlen detached to garrison and worked in the butchery dept. I must say my time with 38 Sqn was best time in my forces life. Any-one out there remember Ginge Williams, Eric Lowe, Taffy Williams, Kenny Coleville. If they are still with us Hi from Alan.    

Alan Wharton

 

I was a REME Vehicle Mechanic attached to 1 RMA at Wrexham Bks from Jan 1965 to August 1967. We had AEC Militant Mk 1 General Cargo (10 Tonners) 120 of various ages. These were driven by Gunners from the RMA and it was a privilege to serve with them. The unit was used as a Service Corps Company carrying petrol, avtag, AL3 & sometimes ammunition from RAOC sites in BAOR and Belgium. I was a troop fitter driving an empty 10 tonner following the convoy. Halcyon days driving through West Germany, Belgium and Holland employing 'flag discipline'. The REME Det were the only non - Maltese in the unit. Cooks and Pay Clerks were all Maltese.

Steve 'Sid' Payne

23855138