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  Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.

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SoestKinder
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PostSubject: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   10/12/2015, 15:42

Here's an old cinema news reel circa 1954, in visiting the Canadian Army contingent at Soest,West-Germany (BAOR) Must be the new grand opening of Soest,Iserlohn,Werl,Hemer,Unna Garrisons when the Canadian Army moved from Hannover from 1951 to 1953, till '54 when the Canadians moved south to reinforce the Belgians Corps near Kassel,West Germany.

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/canadian-prime-minister-in-germany/query/Jane
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   12/12/2015, 17:02

An interesting addition to our collection of newsreel clips

However I must disagree with your comment that the Canadians were a reinforcement to the Belgian Corps. After 1954 the highly respected Canadian Brigade was Canada's stand alone contribution to NATO in Europe with an operational role of providing flank protection to the British 1st Corps/NORTHAG and the American CENTAG Forces to the south.

We do have some Canadian contributors who served with the Canadian Brigade in Soest who might be able to add to my thoughts.
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SoestKinder
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   12/12/2015, 23:21

Hi JPW, The reason I said that statement was that I read in an article somewhere either in a book or article regarding the reasons why the Canadians were moved down south from Hannover in late 1953/54. If I can find it, I'll post it here for anyone to read.

Here's an article on the Belgians and they too were stationed in Soest as well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Forces_in_Germany
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   13/12/2015, 01:49

Here's one detailed article on why the Canadian Army was stationed in the British Sector of West-Germany along side with Benelux army groups. (Belgium, Netherlands,Luxembourg).

http://baor-locations.org/Canadamilitaryoption.aspx.html

http://www.seanmmaloney.com/articles/i0012.html

In the book by Isabel Campbell (Unlikely Diplomats, The Canadian Brigade in West-Germany 1951-1964) it mentions about the Canadians dependents moving into PMQ's at Unna, as the Belgians left in 1955 and also the Belgian Army was in charge of protecting the right side sector of where the 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was stationed. This doesn't really mean that the Canadian Army reinforced the Belgian army and what I meant to say from another article, that I previously had read, mentioned the Canadians could fill a spot where the need was greatest at that time,(1953) as the Belgian army had sent a Corps group but that was all, and the Canadian army moved in to fill this position. Again, if and when I read this article, I will post it here for anyone who is interested.
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SoestKinder
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   13/12/2015, 02:09

Another link with detailed maps of the British and Belgian sectors within NATO forces in West-Germany 1951-1990.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Army_Group
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Belgiques and Canadians In Soest   23/12/2015, 18:55

While it is true the Belgians (known as "Belgiques") and Canadians shared Soest, I do not know -- quite literally do not know -- of any formal link between the two, although there may well have been one. I do know Belgiques officers held membership in the Officer's club across the highway from the Soest PMQs and that Belgique families could shop in the MLS/Canex store (later the Naafi...now demolished I understand).

What I do know is single Canadian soldiers coming into town for a night of clubbing and gasthof-hopping and single Belgique soldiers leaving their Kasernes springled throughout Soest for a night of clubbing and gasthof-hopping, often clashed. A favourite sport of drunk, bored young Alpha Male Canadian soldiers was to pick fights with Belgique soldiers, who frequently were taken aback and confused as to why. Our guys always wore civvies when out....the Belgiques rarely did, so it was easy to spot them. A bit of that continued when the British moved into Soest, but not to the same degree.
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   24/12/2015, 15:42

You may be interested to know the Belgium Army was stationed in Soest long before the Canadian Army

4 Oct 46 – 3rd Belgium Infantry Brigade of 2nd Belgium Infantry Division command 1st Belgium Corps District (from 15 Oct 45) relieving 56th Infantry Brigade of 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division command 1st British Corps District

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers
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SoestKinder
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   25/12/2015, 03:51

Steve,
Thanks for the info, as I didn't know that bit of info? I've learned a great deal from this website, I really have. by the way, in Soest, Syrian refugees are now residing at old Fort York Barracks where the Canadians were stationed from 1954-1970. Fort York was home of the Royal Canadian Regiment & The Canadian Guards Regiment. I've also heard the old Belgian Kasserne are also being used by Syrian refugees as well.

Christopher
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   25/12/2015, 18:34

I've heard of refugees being housed in some of the old Canadian barracks....down in Hemer at Deilinghofen I've heard of that. Can't remember if it was Syrians per se, though.

Soest is a small city....population was approx. 14,000 when I lived there in the 70's and probably not much higher now, although from looking at Google maps I see the suburbs have expanded way past where the old PMQ area was on the south side of the city and that was, then, "on the edge of town".

I can't imagine the impact Syrian refugees will have. I mean, it's fantastic they have found some sort of safe haven there but, not so much in Soest but in some of the larger urban centres like Berlin and Stuttgart and Frankfurt and Dortmund etc. the social repercussions of 2nd and 3rd generation Turkish workers, and former Yugoslavs, has has been major. Disenfranchised Turkish youth (males, mostly) who were born and raised in Germany -- so are German in that sense -- are not seen as "German" by many German nationals. No jobs, relegated to ghettos, crime etc. And now on top of that thousands of Syrians? There is going to be a problem. Not them...don't get me wrong...but the issue of integration/assimilation has proven to be problematic with the former influx of Turks, Yugoslavs, Albanians, even "Osties" (East Germans moving to the West after reunification) and it will be no different here. Not immediately but in a generation or two? I think so. But is that a reason to NOT take them in? I'd shudder to think anyone would be so cold.

There were several former Belgian Kasernes in Soest (3 or 4 as I recall). One along Hiddingser Weg along the B-1 which, I understand, has long since been demolished to build a housing estate. Another was on the South side of town, not far from the Canadian PMQs. When I return to Soest in 1973 to work I lived on Lendringser Strasse across from the north end of that Kaserne. There was also one across the B-1 from the Kaserne I first mentioned and one somewhere else....east edge of town I think....where the Belgique hospital and some married quarters as well. I'm glad those buildings have been put to practical use rather than be left empty and derelict.

I know down in Lahr what was known as the Canadian Caserne, where the school was located, some administration buildings and the Youth Centre were, was abandoned and left to rot. Shameful and a complete and utter waste of what were quite good buildings. I've heard some of them, the barracks etc., have been converted into housing for refugees -- East Germans and such.

Ditto with the old Married Quarters in Hemer....lots of ethnic German Russians and East Germans.
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   25/12/2015, 21:21

Stephan,
            Thanks for the 'info' on the Belgique Quarters/Kasserne etc. all very interesting and my own parents have stories regarding the conscript soldiers from Belgium as well in the 1960's etc. I found your observations on post cold war era immigration in the federal republic of Germany interesting as well as it reminds me of what I've read and heard from other people said in the 1990's til present in regards to the current situation and the rest of the EU finds itself in!

It takes  about 3 generations of immigrants to finally fit in, it's new host country or so I am told! It will be some time to see if or when these problems sort it's self out!?? And alot of good will and lots and lots of Euro's!!!!!!!!

Here's a documentary on what sort of problems they (The German state might face in the future!?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVWAIKoatWM&feature=youtu.be

As far as Soest is concerned, it's so beautiful and clean and very tidy, and I've been there twice and enjoyed it all so much as well! Lots to see and so and so much culture and the cuisine is divine!

The weather is also superb in the summertime, and atmosphere is relaxed and serene too Very Happy

Next time I am there I'll go sightseeing around the Belgian Quarter as well. My dad told me they had a large amount of troops stationed there for most of the cold war era. They finally left in 2002.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   28/12/2015, 08:45

From my research have found three German/English/Belgium barracks in Soest

6 Jun 45 – 56th Infantry Brigade of 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division “The Polar Bears” from command 1st Canadian Corps Utrecht Holland arrived in Soest – disbanded 15 Oct 46
Brigade HQ: Requisitioned civilian accommodation in the town centre

Gloucester Barracks previous name unknown renamed Abercrombie Barracks
2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment – to 5th Guards Brigade Berlin 15 Jul 46
15 Jul 46 – 5th Battalion Highland Light Infantry – suspended animation 15 Oct 46

Barracks unknown
6 Jun 46 – 125th (Cameronians) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment RA – disbanded Oct 46

Other barracks listed as at Sep 46 on hand over to Belgium Army
Metzer Barracks
Argoone Barracks

Hope this helps
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SoestKinder
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PostSubject: Re: Canadian Prime Minister Louis St Laurent in Soest,1954.   29/12/2015, 15:01

Steve, many thanks for the info, much appreciated! Smile
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