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 The Life Guards, 1945/6

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Roger V
Cpl
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/8/2016, 15:35

I'm trying to pin down which, if any, barracks the regiment was based in Goslar in July 1945 and later, in June 46, in Luneberg.

Various sources have been tried, but none are sufficiently specific.

Any help would be appreciated.
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JPW
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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: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/8/2016, 19:23

Roger

Welcome, this site loves a challenge thought it may take time to provide an accurate answer.

The situation is a little complicated by the fact that the two wartime Household Cavalry Regiments (1 HCR, 2 HCR) restructured back to their original prewar structures and titles The Life Guards and The Royal Horse Guards.

I have 1HCR moving to Goslar in July 1945 but then moving almost immediately to Northampton Barracks Wolfenbuttel to complete their reorganisation. Whilst in Wolfenbuttel the Regiment sent a Squadron to Berlin (Kladow) on a three months tour starting in March 1946

I do not have an exact location for their location in Goslar but am pretty certain that Airfield Camp would have featured. Nazi owned property would have undoubtedly been seized for the Officers' and Corporal Majors' Messes.

Historic Steve who has more detailed data may well add more detail including the Luneburg Barracks when he next drops in to this site.
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steve
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Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/8/2016, 23:10

Roger

Welcome, to add to JPW notes with a few corrections, the research is from 30 Corps District war dairies/historical records from Kew, however have found that grid references can be incorrect and information depends on which file you look in, the definite locations will be found in war dairies/historical records for the regiment, send me a PM and can point you in the right direction to obtain copies

5 Jul 45 – 1st Household Cavalry Regiment RAC – Army Troops – command 5th Infantry Division
Regimental Headquarters: Goslar
13 Jul 45 – to Bonn command Guards Division to reorganise and form the Life Guards Armoured Car Regiment RAC

The grid reference for Goslar is not the Airfield camp, that was to the north of the town but points to an area (not barracks) to the south-west of the town (today Werenbergstrasse)

23 Jul 45 – Life Guards Armoured Car Regiment RAC – Army Troops
Regimental Headquarters: Goslar (same location)
4 Aug 45 – A Squadron to Marienthal north of Helmstedt relieving 10th Survey Regiment RA
Sep 45 – to Northampton Barracks Wolfenbüttel – command 13th Infantry Brigade of 5th Infantry Division
18 Mar 46 – Regiment to Berlin returns 7 Jun 46
Squadron remains in Berlin until 27 Jun 46 relieved by a composite squadron of 13th/18th Hussars (Queen Mary’s Own)
13 Jun 46 – to Lüneburg command Guards Division
6 Jul 46 – to UK

The grid reference for Lüneburg points what was known as Lüne Kaserne to the north of the town (today Konrad-Zuse-Alle), understand the complex was formally a displaced persons camp and still stands today

Hope this helps
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/8/2016, 23:17

Thanks Steve. An excellent basis for progress.

Thanks very much.
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
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Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/8/2016, 23:51

Further,

Re: "The grid reference for Goslar is not the Airfield camp, that was to the north of the town but points to an area (not barracks) to the south-west of the town (today Werenbergstrasse)"

Looking on Google Maps, Werenbergstrasse is very much a leafy residential area. However, there is a site opposite the north end of that road, on the corner of Wallstraße, which has the appearance of a pre WW2 German barracks. Lat/Long 51.902448, 10.429177. Do you think that's likely to be the location in question?

The Luneburg site appears to be at 53.256087, 10.416832.

I think a vote of thanks for the near standard designs used by the Wehrmacht's architects is called for. Very Happy

(I just discovered I can't post links, give thanks to the back button and resend facility.)
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   11/8/2016, 08:18

Roger

Post VE day it was not a "mass march into barracks" the majority of units were in requisitioned civilian accommodation and could be scattered over a wide area and barracks were used for prisoners of war, displaced persons and internment, there were of course the odd exceptions, have some barracks detail on Goslar/Lüneburg that I need to dig out
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steve
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Number of posts : 753
Age : 68
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   11/8/2016, 08:40

Still working on Lüneburg, could be the barracks in the north next to the river, possibly known as Oxford Barracks by RA units prior to the Life Guards

"History is a mystery and only as good as those who wrote it down"

 photo Luumlneburg Map 1951 barracks_zps7nufarpk.jpg
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   28/8/2016, 21:08

I visited all locations last week.

A summary is as follows,

Montgomery Barracks, Kladow, Berlin, is now the Bundeswehr's Blucher Kaserne.
Northampton Barracks, Wolfenbuttel is now in civilian use but I need check details to be more specific.
Harewood Barracks, Herford is now a refugee centre.
Luneberg Barracks is mostly used by small businesses, some is in use by one of the major commercial banks. Through a fence I saw stables. Naturally I wandered in only to be greeted by four coppers. Not ordinary coppers, riot police. Needless to say security formalities were completed, I took my photos and am still walking free.

Photos to follow.
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JPW
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Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   28/8/2016, 21:36

Roger

Great, look forward to seeing your photos.
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
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Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   7/9/2016, 22:11

Labours completed, photos at ...

The Life Guards in Germany, 1945 to 1992

Thanks to Steve and JPW and other ex- Life Guards who offered info.
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   8/9/2016, 19:01

"Tim" Wood served with 1st Household Cavalry Regiment and The Life Guards in the mid 1940s and left these comments on our regimental discussion forum.

Quote :
What a surge of nostalgia, thanks Roger, taken me back 70 years. Whilst the memories are a bit blurred, they do match your photos.

Goslar - we moved there when the Regiments were reformed in 1945. HQ Squadron were housed in a large building which looks like the one in your photo. I do not recall a name for it though it is unlikely to have been called Hastings at that time. D Squadron were housed in the Arbeitsamt (Labour Exchange) on the other side of the railway tracks, a residential area.

Wolfenbuttel - known in our time as the Ack Ack Barracks, it has hardly changed. The large building facing the gate is the old mess, cookhouse, NAAFI. It was a right drag staggering up that hill after a night out.

Kladau - never really had a name at that time, I think. Quiet,almost rural area some way out of Berlin. Too close to the Russian zone for comfort.

Luneburg - we weren't there very long before we left for the Middle East so it didn't leave much of an impression on me though I do remember those doors.

Tim's recollection of Northampton Barracks, Wolfenbuttel being known as the "Ack-Ack Barracks" tallies with the German name of the "Flak Kaserne".
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   8/9/2016, 21:37

The plaque on the entrance to Wolfenbuttel translates as;

"Former barracks built 1935/6
1935/6 - 1945 Flak barracks of the German Wehrmacht
to 1992 accommodation for units of the British Army of the Rhine"
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JPW
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Number of posts : 1014
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Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 08:57

Roger

Thank you for posting the photos, glad to have been of help in your project

Suspect the name Hastings Barracks was chosen after the Life Guards left for Wolfenbuttel. I have a copy of an HQ BAOR policy letter dated February 1946 listing some 150 names to adopted as the official title of former German Barracks, the consultations probably started in Autumn 1945.

One further question do any of your contacts know where RHQ was in Goslar suspect it could have in a separate site to HQ Squadron in a more prestigious Nazi owned building elsewhere in the area.
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Roger V
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Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 09:17

JPW wrote:
One further question do any of your contacts know where RHQ was in Goslar suspect it could have in a separate site to HQ Squadron in a more prestigious Nazi owned building elsewhere in the area.

I'll certainly put the question to him. Stand by.

A quote from Tim's personal history;

Quote :


I finished up in Goslar with the new all Life Guards D Squadron.

A pretty little town in the Harz Mountains untouched by the war. Squadron Leader Major Hugo Waterhouse (ex 2HCR) and SCM Ted Winchester (ex 1HCR). We were billeted in the Arbeitsamt (Labour Exchange) in a quiet residential part of the town. What a contrast to our previous existence!

HQ and B Squadrons were based at the other side of the town from us whilst the rest of the Regiment were stationed in or near Wolfebuttel some miles away.

We settled down to a quiet routine life, more or less. The locals, understandably, were fairly neutral in their approach to us though the children were less inhibited. There were several in the houses around us who took a great interest in our activities. In the process of which they were acquiring a good English vocabulary. This was illustrated one morning on first parade when a small boy (6 or 7 years) regarding the assembled parade said, in a piercing voice, “What a f****ing shower!” The parade had to be called to order.

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steve
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Registration date : 2010-02-14

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 10:05

Great piece of research, however will continue dispute Hastings Barracks, the notes you have confirm the regiment was scattered in requisitioned accommodation, the recorded RHQ grid reference RC849700, a wooded area to the south-west of the town, looking at the satellite view there are large buildings there
Best of luck
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Roger V
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Number of posts : 14
Cap Badge : The Life Guards
Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 10:27

steve wrote:
Great piece of research, however will continue dispute Hastings Barracks, the notes you have confirm the regiment was scattered in requisitioned accommodation, the recorded RHQ grid reference RC849700, a wooded area to the south-west of the town, looking at the satellite view there are large buildings there
Best of luck

I agree Hastings is not definitive regarding the regiment's disbursement but "Tim" Wood was there and recalls what we now call Hastings as being home to some of the regiment.

If more definitive info come to light I'll have to suffer going back to Goslar, taking more photos and having lunch in the Goslar Brauhaus. It'll be a rough scheme but someone has to do it. Very Happy

The Grid Ref you've quoted, what map system does it belong to and do you have a Lat/Long equivalent?
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 10:47

A possible explanation is that the Regiments Armoured Cars were parked in a secure out of town area whilst the majority of the Regiment lived in decent accommodation in town

The equivalent Canadian Armoured Car Regiment did this in Leer. The majority of the Regiment lived in relative comfort in requisitioned buildings in the centre of town, their armoured cars were "parked up" in a secure area constructed under Sapper supervision by German POWs. Steve's grid reference may be this location. I am certain RHQ, the Officers Mess and the Corporal Majors/Corporals of Horse equivalent would not have been living in tents in Summer 1945.
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steve
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 12:52

Roger V wrote:
The Grid Ref you've quoted, what map system does it belong to and do you have a Lat/Long equivalent?

http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-translator.php

Select "Nord de Guerre Grid" then enter RC849700

This is quoted as the first location of RHQ 1st Household Cavalry Regiment RAC on 29 May 45, then the RHQ Life Guards Armoured Car Regiment RAC on 23 Jul 45 and quoted as RC8570

Source 30 Corps District War Diaries from Kew

Forgot to mention pleased you have confirmation on the Lüneburg Barracks, as always treat GRs with caution

BTW the higher authority was HQRA 30 Corps District coming under command 5 Inf Div in Goslar at the same location 20 Jun 45 until 7 Jul 45, then replaced by HQ 13 Inf Bde at GR RC846707

"History is a mystery and only as good as those who wrote it down"
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Roger V
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Places Served : Knighstbridge, Detmold, Windsor
Registration date : 2016-08-10

PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 18:08

steve wrote:
This is quoted as the first location of RHQ 1st Household Cavalry Regiment RAC on 29 May 45, then the RHQ Life Guards Armoured Car Regiment RAC on 23 Jul 45 and quoted as RC8570

Thanks Steve.

I note that very close to the coordinates given that there is a large house with dormer windows. As JPW says, it's difficult to imagine the senior officers etc living in tents while the soldiers were in barracks and other buildings.

Is it possible that RHQ was in the large house at Google Map?

I'll put that question to my contact.
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Roger V
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 18:36

From the regimental archive.

A welcoming party at Northampton Barracks and a list of postings from July 1946.



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Roger V
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   9/9/2016, 18:47

steve wrote:
This is quoted as the first location of RHQ 1st Household Cavalry Regiment RAC on 29 May 45, then the RHQ Life Guards Armoured Car Regiment RAC on 23 Jul 45 and quoted as RC8570

Source 30 Corps District War Diaries from Kew

Comment from Tim;

Quote :


Re RHQ, I've searched my remaining brain cell and just can't see it. My feeling is that it was in the "Hastings" Barracks area as I recall that Alfie was always hanging round there looking at my boots and blanco.


"Alfie" being RCM Alfie Hyland.
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   10/9/2016, 06:35

Roger

Many thanks for your latest contributions, as ever interesting, informative and amusing
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Roger V
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   23/9/2016, 09:15

At last - the full version of my German tour.

Rogers Ramblings - Germany August 2016
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JPW
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   1/10/2016, 08:45

Roger

Thank you for the link to your journey

A true "nostalgie reise" which brings back memories of numerous places I visited during my time in BAOR.
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PostSubject: Re: The Life Guards, 1945/6   4/5/2017, 20:48

Hello all
I came across this site whilst looking for information about my late uncles regiment. My uncle was in the Life Guards armoured vehicles in Germany, Egypt and Palestine from the years 1945 - 1948. My uncle sadly passed away last year and was very proud of his regiment. Last year his only daughter came round to my home with a box of about 300 photo's all relating to his time in these three countries. When I have time I will scan them and put them up here but scanning 300 photo's is going to be a big for me. I will do them all over time. There's names of people, barracks, etc etc.. If anyone is interested just let me know.

Regards

Pete.
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