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 Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948

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ws1
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PostSubject: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   4/1/2012, 16:20

I am researching int my father’s time in Germany at the end of the war. He was Private/Corporal William Albert Smith and served with The Royal Norfolk Regiment from before D Day to the end of the War. I am trying to track down exactly where the Regiment were stationed between 1945-1948.
My parents both now deceased met each other at a dance at Lubbeke. My mother was serving in the ATS at the time supervising a canteen in Lubbeke.
I have some photographs I will try to upload.
Any help gratefully received.
Cheers
Bill Smith

PS I am working on a Mac Computer so I will upload the photographs to flickr then post a link

`the link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/27913545@N06/6635647917/
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1003
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Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   4/1/2012, 22:06

Bill,Welcome

Steve and I (with the assistance of other contributors to this site) are attempting to construct an outline framework of the units (and their locations) who comprised the British Army of the Rhine in the period 1945-1948.

By sheer coincidence I recently visited the National Archives in Kew to carry out some detailed research and to study the War Diaries of the British 3 Infantry Division in particular.

At the very end of World War 2 the Royal Norfolks were part of 185 Infantry Brigade of that Division under the overall command of the 2nd Canadian Corps whose final objective was the port city of Bremen.

With the capture of the city and surrounding district the Division reverted to British command (30 Corps) and moved to the Osnabruck/Minden area in early May 1945. Headquarters 185 Brigade was definitely in Minden town and the three subordinate Infantry Battalions in the surrounding area but unfortunately I do not have an exact location for the Royal Norfolks but the Battalion was to remain in the Minden area throughout the Summer of 1945.

In mid August the majority of 3 Division returned to the United Kingdom to form the British Army's Strategic Reserve but for reasons as yet unknown the Royal Norfolks remained in Germany and their new location has yet to be confirmed.

In Spring 1946 the Battalion moved to Neumunster a small market town south west of Kiel as part of 5 Guards Brigade of the Guards Division who provided the British Army presence throughout the Province of Schleswig Holstein. Again their stay was brief and by July 1946 the Battalion had moved south to Schloss Neuhaus on the outskirts of Paderborn to join the newly formed 131 Infantry Brigade where they were to remain for the next 18 months/two years.

Steve is our real expert on the southern half of the British Zone and may be able to add more when he next drops in on the site.

Lubbecke is of course a very short distance from Minden so your parents undoubtedly first met in the Summer of 1945

Hope this of interest, I would be extremely interested to know if you have any information as to exactly where the Royal Norfolks were based in Summer 1945.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   5/1/2012, 08:47

JPW and welcome Bill
Have a location for 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment after the move south they were in Volksdorf east of Onsbrück...small correction 185th Infantry Brigade of 3rd Infantry Division were command 1st Corps District not 30th Corps District the regiment moved to 160th Infantry Brigade of 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division Aug 45 location Solingen east of Düsseldorf to 5th Guards Brigade Mar 46 as JPW pointed out then in Jul 46 (not going to Berlin with the Brigade) to 131st Infantry Brigade of 7th Armoured Division Schloss Neuhaus Sennelager to Berlin Jan 48 returns May 49...small correction 131st Infantry Brigade was a original brigade and renamed 31st Infantry Brigade Jan 47 with HQ at Melle south east Osnabrück command to Hannover District on the disbandment of 7th Armoured Division...have an entry that the regiment was also in the brigade Jul 45 but very unlikely sticking with the above until proved wrong...hope this helps
Steve
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ws1
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   5/1/2012, 09:51

Thank you so much Steve and JPW. This will prove most useful as I am trying to put together locations for a visit to Germany, probably next year. Have you looked at the photographs?
Cheers
Bill
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alan8376
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Number of posts : 376
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Localisation : Norfolk, UK
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Carlisle AAS, Aden, Hildesheim, Bordon, Fallingbostel, Dover, NI Tours, Osnabruck, Herford, Muenster, UN Nicosia, SBA Dhekellia Cyprus x2, Waterbeach, Civi Street 1988. Retired from VOSA 2007.
Registration date : 2009-07-28

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   5/1/2012, 10:07

As I don't live a million miles from Norwich and the Royal Norfolk Regiment Museum, I thought I could pop along and enquire details of where the 1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment were stationed post-war.

Sadly, the Regimental Museum is no more! It would seem many Regimental Museums have or are closing. I believe this due to the government removing funding of these establishments. So sad!

I was informed that if one writes in, they try to reply to questions......
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ws1
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   6/1/2012, 18:34

Thank you for the offer Alan8376. The Regimental Museum I believe has now been transferred to Norwich Castle.
There is a very good book By Neil R Storey The Royal Norfolk Regiment part of a series called Britain in Old photographs published by Sutton Publishing Limited.
What I am after is tracking the 1st Battalions’ progress from D-Day to about 1947.
I have most of the info but I need to get my act in gear and go to Kew and look at the Regimental Diaries.
As I live in Manchester I that would be a short holiday in London.
This is what I have so far:-
France
Sword Beach-Normandy
’Norfolk House‘ Caen Canal-Normandy
Ranville, Heronville, Manneville Wood-Normandy
Sourdeval-Normandy
Belgium?
Holland
Overloon, Venraj
Ousteram, Wanssom
Haps Christmas 1944
Goch, Kervenhiem
Lichtenvoorde, Enschende

23rd March 1945 Crossed the Rhine
Lingen
Brinkum
Bremen
May 8th Minden
1946 Neuhaus?



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JPW
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Number of posts : 1003
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Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   6/1/2012, 20:19

Bill

To clarify the Royal Norfolks moves post VE Day 1945. Steve and my source documents are the War Diaries for 3 Infantry and 7 Armoured Divisions held in the National Archives in Kew (Steve has also acquired copies of a variety of 1st British Corps Newsletters published in Germany in the immediate post war period).

A summary of 1st Bn Royal Norfolks is
early May 1945 Bremen
8th May 1945 Volksdorf (a small farrming community north east of Minden, just to the west of Stadthagen.(Battalion Headquarters subsequently moved again to a Chemical Factory exact location as yet unknown).
August 1945 Solingen
March 1946 Neumunster
July 1946 Schloss Neuhaus (Paderborn)

Further research has shown that the barracks at Schloss Neuhaus was subsequently officially named Horrocks Barracks by the British Army. If you go to the Home Page of this site click on Locations, click on Paderborn, click on Horrocks Barracks you will find a small selection of photos of the barracks , sadly now closed and demolished though the nearby Schloss (Castle) still survives.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Kew but it is well worth researching the excellent website and booking in, including a readers ticket, prior to your visit.

Alan
Sorry about your abortive trip to Norwich. I think it was a deliberate policy decision by the newly formed Royal Anglian Regiment to create a new centralised Regimental Museum at the Imperial War Museum site at Duxford near Cambridge but there has been pressure to create out stations to maintain the local county links across East Anglia and East Midlands of the founding Regiments.

Bill
Have looked at the photos, the Paderborn Barracks is undoubtedly Horrocks Barracks. The shot of a group of soldiers outside a brick built barrack block is undoubtedly Holland. The German style of brick laying is noticeably different and very often the bricks were covered by a concrete pebbledash (your photos of germen barrack blocks demonstrate this style of building. Where were your parents married? your mother was very fortunate to find that lovely silk wedding dress?
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Daveb
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   10/1/2012, 15:24

My next door neighbour was in the Norfolk's, he said when the KOSB's lost a stack of guy's and were understrength he and a lot of other Norfolk's were transferred to them, that was either just before or more likely just after the Battle of the Bulge. Shame he's passed or I could have found out more. He wore his old Norfolk's cap badge in the lapel of his jacket for the last few years, maybe hoping to find other Norfolk's.
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ws1
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   16/1/2012, 15:22

JPW plus all.
Sorry to confuse you about the wedding picture. My parents were married in London 1946. My mother had been demobbed and I assume dad obtained compassionate leave. dad did not leave the Army untill 1947. The wedding you saw is unknown to me but I assume was a friend of either my mums or dad’s. The wedding dress was probably a parachute that was no longer needed!
I have added my parents wdding picture to the Flickr site above.

Daveb
Shame about your neighbour passed on as you say he could have filled in a lot of gaps. Is his wife still alive?

`the link is http://www.flickr.com/photos/27913545@N06/6635647917/
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Pborn3
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Number of posts : 128
Age : 70
Localisation : Porta Westfalica
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Oswestry, Paderborn, Barnard Castle, Catterick, NI, Bristol, Cyprus, Munsterlager, NI,Sennelager , NI , Rge Control/STC Sennelager/ GSU Sennelager as Civvy
Registration date : 2013-09-23

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 00:27

Royal Norfolks moved to Neuhaus by Paderborn in July 1946.  (The village with its Schloss - was not formally named "Schloss Neuhaus" until 1957*  so War Diary records may differ).  Horrocks Barracks was the name given to the barrack accommodation (built up 1876-1882) including the Schloss which housed the NAAFI Store and Shop, a number of minor organisational units (RE & MPBW, RAOC, RASC Tpt, MSO) and the Quick Re-action Forces for the various prison installations around Sennelager  (these had been BE or NL Battalions rotated with BR units).  The Norfolk Battalion actually moved in to Dempsey Barracks which also housed the ATS Depot, a Gymnasium occupied and used by the then APTC  (nowadays with Royal prefix), and the CMP with a holding military prison for the Provost-Marshal for soldiers under sentence pending movement to Bielefeld).

*During the 700 year celebrations in 1957 Neuhaus was accorded the name "Schloß Neuhaus" and Queen Elizabeth presented the town with two live swans - handed over by Schloß Kommandant:  Maj. JL Jordan.  Music:  Military Band of 1 Bn Sherwood Foresters.

The photos on the Flickr reference above include Barrack Blocks in Dempsey Barracks, Neuhaus, the Swimming Pool and the NAAFI Canteen Building in Normandy Barracks, Sennelager - where the BAOR (later All Arms) Training Centre was housed.


Last edited by Pborn3 on 15/11/2015, 00:13; edited 2 times in total
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ws1
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PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 08:37

Thanks for the info Pborn3. The fact that there was an ATS Depot at Dempsey Barracks seems significant.
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Pborn3
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Number of posts : 128
Age : 70
Localisation : Porta Westfalica
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Oswestry, Paderborn, Barnard Castle, Catterick, NI, Bristol, Cyprus, Munsterlager, NI,Sennelager , NI , Rge Control/STC Sennelager/ GSU Sennelager as Civvy
Registration date : 2013-09-23

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 08:47

Twas the ATS Band - there 's film in IWM of said musical enterprise marching out in Bueren (South of Paderborn) - hearts and minds! however the AKC film has no sound!
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Pborn3
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Number of posts : 128
Age : 70
Localisation : Porta Westfalica
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Oswestry, Paderborn, Barnard Castle, Catterick, NI, Bristol, Cyprus, Munsterlager, NI,Sennelager , NI , Rge Control/STC Sennelager/ GSU Sennelager as Civvy
Registration date : 2013-09-23

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 09:11

In your photos on Flickr the Block behind the truck (and two blokes) is the Cookhouse Block in Dempsey Barracks (a Hitler Barracks) - there was no similar Block in Horrocks Bks (Schloss, Stables and Marstall Revier and Bldgs from previous century).
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Pborn3
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Number of posts : 128
Age : 70
Localisation : Porta Westfalica
Cap Badge : RA
Places Served : Oswestry, Paderborn, Barnard Castle, Catterick, NI, Bristol, Cyprus, Munsterlager, NI,Sennelager , NI , Rge Control/STC Sennelager/ GSU Sennelager as Civvy
Registration date : 2013-09-23

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 11:30

Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum seems to have reopened:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_cGuybSSo
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steve
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Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: Ist Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment 1945-1948   30/1/2015, 12:05

With JPW's research and my 1st Corps District original documentation piecing together the command and unit movements post 8 May 45 and very much still "under construction"

15 Jun 46 – 7th Armoured Division
131st Lorried Infantry Brigade – HQ to Melle east Osnabrück – command to 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division returns 15 Jul 45 – renamed 31st Lorried Infantry Brigade 1 Jan 47 – command to Hannover District 27 Feb 48
1st Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment from 5th Guards Brigade of Guards Division – Dempsey Barracks Schloss Neuhaus Sennelager – to Lothian Barracks Detmold – to Berlin Jan 48
Company to Delbruck for demonstration duties BAOR Training Centre from 30 Jun 46
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