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 St Sebastian Barracks

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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
Maj Gen

Number of posts : 937
Age : 65
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: St Sebastian Barracks   2/2/2008, 19:31

Just read this item over on the "locations" section concerning the barracks at Korbecke/Moehnesee and James Clark (late Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders) wrote the following:

"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"."

As mentioned elsewhere in various posts, my father, WO Victor G. Lock, remained behind following the Canadian troops transfer to Lahr and Baden-Baden in the Black Forest Region to complete the close-out of Canadian military holdings.

James is quite correct...the Canadian Married Quarters were fully furnished with quite solid wood furniture, attractive carpets, lamps, dishes, etc. There may even have been a few prints for artwork. Everything one might need to create a home. For Canadian military families it just was not feasible to ship all their household goods over to Gemany for 3 years then ship it all back to Canada again. And the Department of National Defence certainly didn't want to pay for all that, either!

I remember Dad mentioning how the British authorities he was dealing with simply did not wish to purchase the furniture. Now, some of it was, shall we say, "liberated" by Canadian families. We brought back a foot stool, end table and a small bookcase ourselves. I have no idea why! And they are still attractive, well-made pieces.

I was dimly aware of the furniture just being left in the quarters as the logistics of transferring it to Lahr was overwhelming, although I believe quite a bit of it was transferred down there, but certainly not all of it. I mean, we are talking thousands of pieces here, what with one thing and another (beds, sideboards, wardrobes, dining tables and chairs, sofas, easy chairs, coffee tables, hutches, bookcases, chest of drawers, floor lamps, table lamps, ocassional chairs, cutlery, dishes, pots and pans, wall mirrors, door mirrors, vanities, etc) and I also dimly remember much of it being destroyed.

When I returned to Soest in 1973 some of the quarters had the old Canadian furniture but most did not. In it's place was cheap, flimsy, plywood JUNK that fell apart if you dared sneeze while sitting on it!

It was something I never understood. Good heavens, that furniture -- or rather the pieces I have -- lasted for another 35 years+ and shows no signs of falling apart even still.
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Number of posts : 33
Age : 57
Localisation : Linolnshire.
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Kenya, Worthy Down, Winchester, Andover, Detmold, Soest, Hamm, Korbecke, Kirton Lindsey,
Registration date : 2012-05-18

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   19/5/2012, 12:50

We lived in Soest just after the Canadians and I can remember the smells sights and sounds of the quarters even now. Can any one remember the boiler house that heated the whole estate?
The NAAFI and the small row of German shops. The small chip shop just past the little Bar,which I forget the name of. Happy days, I just wish my memory was better!

We moved out of Soest and into private Hiring in Korbecke and then we went wild in the country swimming in the Mohnesee and climbing all over the bridges and Dam.

We were there 71-76. 16AD Regt.
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Eric England

Number of posts : 232
Age : 66
Localisation : China
Cap Badge : REME 1972 - 1984
Places Served : Arborfield, Deepcut Camberley 25 Lt Regt Catterick/NI, 4 Lt Regt Catterick/NI, 655 Sqn AAC Detmold, QRIH Padderbon, 9/12 Lancers Muenster, 655 Tank Tptr Sqn Fallingbostel, HQ REME 3rd Armd Div Korbecke, SEE Arborfield, HQ REME Trg Center Arborfield.
Registration date : 2013-04-22

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   26/4/2013, 16:48

I was there in approx 80/81 with HQ REME 3rd Armd Div and at first had a local private hiring only a 10 minute drive from the dam and then moved to the quarters in Soest, not impressed with Soest at all. But the camp was very nice.
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Number of posts : 93
Registration date : 2009-11-23

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   27/4/2013, 07:37

Couldn't help from noticing that Stephen Lock the originator of this and other threads, hasn't been on the site since last year? He was a regular contributor. Has he left the site?
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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
Maj Gen

Number of posts : 937
Age : 65
Localisation : Calgary
Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   29/6/2013, 23:54

Rocky wrote:
Couldn't help from noticing that Stephen Lock the originator of this and other threads, hasn't been on the site since last year?  He was a regular contributor.  Has he left the site?

I kinda did....just fell out of the habit of checking in and then didn't and then didn't again and all, y'know?

But I'm back!! Or rather...."Ah'm baaaack...." :-) Hopefully will get back into the habit of checking in and contributing again as well.

Oh...which reminds me.....since I was off for so long I forgot my original password. I tried various combinations of it to no avail and sent off for a new one (which obviously worked). However it's one those automatically-generated weird combinations of letters and numbers I will never remember and I need to replace it with my own password that I might...maybe....hopefully....have a better chance of remembering. How do I do that?

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Number of posts : 3018
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   30/6/2013, 06:16

Hi Stephen and welcome back!Very Happy 
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Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2015-05-21

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   16/10/2016, 09:24

The article on St Sebastian Barracks says it was occupied by 6 Div. This is wrong.
The barracks was built for the Canadians and was Fort Henry which was occupied by HQ 4 Canadian Mechanised Brigade Group and HQ Canadian Land Forces (designation?). The Brigade was part of the ORBAT of 2 Div until it moved to Lahr to become part of the US ORBAT.
6 Armoured Brigade HQ & Signals Squadron (newly redesignated from 6 Infantry Brigade in late 1970) moved in in Dec 1970 (from Barnard Castle in County Durham) and 4 Field Ambulance took over the Canadian's detention facility just across the road. Given that the fort had been a major HQ, it was quite palatial for 2 minor units. My troop accommodation was the size occupied by a squadron elsewhere in BAOR (and reverted to that when 3 Div moved in). The site had 2 Officers' Messes, the Senior Mess being used by the 2 units and the other for teachers working in Soest and Werl. This meant that as a Lieutenant, I had a suite of rooms with a telephone - SNCOs and JNCOs also had phones in their accommodation - until it was found out that the German Bundespost was charging for their rental and they were promptly removed, being a Signals unit, many were quickly replaced by their 'owners'.
The site was renamed St Sebastian Barracks in line with the naming of other forts taken over after Wellington's battles in Spain.
Stories about Canadian property being destroyed are true. The Brits taking over accommodation in 1970 quickly fell out with their Canadian counterparts and lots of items were destroyed rather than be passed on, including some beautiful wooden panelling in the Iserlohn officer's mess. St Sebastian's Sergeant's Mess did better as its fittings were just put on the barrack's rubbish heap from where they were retrieved and refitted (Canadians knew how to make a great bar!!)

The 6 Brigade was part of 2 Div's ORBAT until a reorganisation (1971?) moved it to 4 Div. The reorganisation (1980?) which saw 3 Div move from UK meant that 6 Bde was 'demoted' to Corruna with part of the Div Signals Regiment.
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LE Maj
LE Maj

Number of posts : 818
Age : 69
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: St Sebastian Barracks   16/10/2016, 16:45

Thanks very much for your input the downside is is currently locked so unable to make amendments at this time
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