WW2 relics at Stainton Grove Military Camp, Barnard Castle, DL12 8UJ, UK

People who were in the area - A. Leslie Palmer

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I served almost 8 years in the Army starting in 1946.  My basic training was at 90 PTC, Ranby Camp, Retford thence to the 59th Training Regt., RAC at Barnard Castle, Co. Durham - don't remember the name of the camp. I was training to be a Driver/Operator and spent time on the #19 Wireless Set travelling around the countryside near Bishop Auckland.  Gunnery practice using the 2 pounder and 7.92 mm coaxially mounted machine gun-weapons for the Daimler armoured car. I had expected to be assigned to the 12th Royal Lancers but I opted for the potential officers’ squad and we were destined for the newly opened Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst - it opened in Jan 1947. I eventually entered, what is now, the Royal Logistic Corps (formerly RASC).  I would like to know the name of the camp in Barnard Castle and its history and, of course, anyone alive, who may recall me or those times.  Thank you

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The name you are looking for is.  59th Training Regt R.A.C.  Deerbolt Camp.  Barnard Castle.
I spent 6 months there training in 1947.  Remember the name of the Railway Station?  " Broomilaw Halt"
Long since gone through Dr Beeching.
Happy Days.
All the Best
Jack Parkin

Jack- So nice to hear from you.Who knows we may have passed like ships in the night back in Jan '47.  I never finished my training as I  was accepted for the new Sandhurst which really was like the former in terms of inmates!  A mixture of Public and Grammar school boys although all had to have served in the ranks for at least 6 months.  Back to the 59th. I was training as a Dvr/Op but was transferred to a potential officer squad and got the rank of Local/unpaid/Acting Lance-Corporal-a fatal mistake we were setup for all sorts of abuse. That one stripe marked us as a member of the hated officer class.  Not for long.  In Feb '47 I was posted to an RAEC outfit in Aldershot.   Lost my stripe and studied military history until entering Sandhurst in April.  My memories of Barnard Castle are fading, but I do recollect how kind the local folks were. I did a lot of training on the #19 set which involved riding in the back of a15cwt truck along with 3 other guys. We would take a lunch break in a village pub near Bishops Auckland where the landlord would give us a free pint!  Such nice folk. They were happy days. Finally left the service and married a gal from Los Angeles.  Still married to the same lady and living in Mill Valley California.  Keep in touch-Cheers
Les Palmer

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In an answer to Mr. Palmer, the 59th Tr. Reg. RAC, Camp was named Barford Camp, on the right hand side, about 4+ miles, NW, out from Barney.  Between Barford Camp and Barney on the right of the road was the 61st Tr. Reg. RAC Camp, I believe called Aliwal Camp, where they trained on Shermans.  South of Barney and over the river was the 54th Tr. Reg. RAC at Deerbolt Camp, training on Cromwells and Comets.                

Barford Camp today is a “Banger Raceway”, built on the “PARADE GROUND”. The RSM will be twirling in his grave

I was posted from the Reconnaissance Corps at Waitwith Lines at Catterick in early 1945 to the 59th.  Here I was a Daimler and Staghound Armoured Car Driving Instructor, (could I have trained you?) until 1947.  I was posted to my allocated Regiment, the 11th Hussars PAO, then stationed in Delmenhorst, Westphalia, Germany. Is this of any use to you?

Contact me if you need to on norman.johnston@ntlworld.com.  Greetings from a very old “SWEAT” and hoping you are well, how old are you now? Norman.

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I must apologise, since this correspondence has jogged my ancient memory, I have remembered that it was Streatlam Camp, not Aliwal Camp of the 61st Tr. Reg.   All the time that I was in the Barford Camp, the names of Westwick and Humbleton Camps, were unknown to me, as is the Stainton Grove Military Camp.

(note: a map of the camps has now been added to the regiments page)

 

As a frequent Duty Driver, I drove Officers to and from the 61st and the 54th and also to and from Raby Castle, where there was an Officers Club.

When in Barnard Castle on a weekend, I occasionally met with squaddies from the 61st and the 54th, but never from those other Camps.

My only memory that I remember, is that around 1946-47, that a Royal Tank Regiment was in Training over that way, because volunteers to join them, were being asked for in Barford Camp, I also remember some of us walking to and from the Black Swan (The Dirty Duck) Inn in Staindrop.

Other memories are coming back.  We would leave Barford and drive the Daimler A/Cars to Warcop Camp, near Appleby-in-Teesdale, for 2 pdr Cannon and the BESA. 7.92 Co-Axial Machine-Gun, Firing Practice on the Ranges there.

I also remember with great pleasure, my many visits to the Bowes Museum, a magnificent Building.

If there is anything else that I can help with, please ask me, regards, Norman Johnston.

Norman-It's a lazy Saturday afternoon in California and I was just idling my time away and landed on the Bookmarks section of my trusty MAC. It was Barnard Castle and a note from Mr. Norman Johnston.  Norman,you really must be "an old sweat"-I'm a young 82 year young ' un.My memories from Barford Camp are somewhat dim. However I do recall the mess enjoyed good army food-it was cooked by German PW's  and these guys had not yet been repatriated.  I remember that all of our instructors were excellent-all combat veterans from WW2. Do you live in this area?.  I would be interested in your history and thx for getting in touch. - Les Palmer

The 59th Training Regiment was at at Barford Camp and for Training, used small Daimler Scout Cars, larger Daimler Mk.1 and Mk. 2 Armoured Cars, also the American larger Staghound Armoured Cars.

I was an Armoured Car Driving Instructor there from 1945 to 1947.  Norman (Taffy) Johnston. Ex 11th Hussars PAO.

Morning, just to say that the 59th was at Barford Camp when I arrived there in 1945, I was there until posted to Germany in 1947, so as far as I am concerned, the 59th was never at this other Camp, during those years,
Regards, Norman Johnston.

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Bill Hall tells us that the 59th Training Regiment was at the training Camp known as Barford Training Camp.  Thanks for getting in touch, Bill

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Regarding cap badges, It was mandatory that if an 11th Hussar was at Barnard Castle during 1944 cap badges must be worn at all times.
Some photo’s for you showing four Cherrypickers wearing the badge.
Regards
John P

Hi Eileen, how are you.?  This morning I received the above, from a Member Friend of the 11th Hussars Old Comrades Association, I thought it might be of interest, if you were ever contacted by anyone of this era. Pictures unfortunately are in black and white and the subject is that the 11th Hussars (PAO) Prince Alberts Own, wore a Germanic type Beret  crowned in deep brown with an inch wide maroon Band around the lower part of it. This Beret was recognised as individual to this regiment, similar now to a Para Beret being of a shade of Red and due to this, the Regiment did not wear its 11th Hussar Badge in it. The second photo down shows the only one  in
the 11th and it also being worn by someone else, in  the final photo,  but after my allocation to the 11th, in my time there in 1945-7, I did not receive any instructions to wear the badge. If you have had any more 59th news since we last communicated I would appreciate receiving it.  I hope that this message may be of some use in the future, my best regards,
Norman



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Norman Boyd, who runs a blog on Frank Bellamy, contacted us to ask if Leslie Palmer remembered a room in the camp that was highly decorated with pictures of WWII Nazi aircraft. 

Bellamy was told to create a resource to assist soldiers in becoming familiar with recognizing aircraft.  

At Deerbolt camp (now a Youth Offenders institution) he spent six months painting the walls and ceiling of an ‘aircraft recognition room with every aircraft in use - RAF, USAF and Luftwaffe […] from every angle imaginable’ (his quote from an interview).  

He was awarded the ‘War Office Good Service Certificate by the Chief of Imperial General Staff for artwork produced’ and he was given a note by Colonel Wadham congratulating him on his work for the aircraft recognition room. 

 I would guess after the end of WWII it would be gone, but might still have been there in 1946.  

If anyone has any more information please contact Norman via his blog or website

 http://www.frankbellamy.co.uk/

http://frankbellamy.blogspot.com/2011/05/frank-bellamy-and-army.html

 

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Our heritage is who we are today; we are the only ones who can protect it.

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The Memories of Stainton Grove Military Camp Project was one of a number of community-led projects along and nearby the route of the proposed South West Durham Heritage Corridor. 

 

The South West Durham Heritage Corridor will be a multi-user route along the former Bishop Auckland to Barnard Castle railway line. 

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Share your memories with us!  We want to make a record of life here before it is too late.  Please get in touch.  All your memories are important to us.

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The Memories of Stainton Grove Military Camp Project is being led by Stainton Grove Community Association and coordinated by Groundwork West Durham and Darlington. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the 'Your Heritage' grant programme.

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