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 Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin

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dave-o
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Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2017-01-22

PostSubject: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   22/1/2017, 16:36




My father's cousin recently told me that her dad was responsible for running a club for British soldiers in post war Berlin. He was posted there from the end of the war until at least March 1946. He was a private in the Royal Artillery but his job working in hotels before the war gave him the experience to run the club. He also booked musicians and acts to perform there on a regular basis, these acts were mainly German.

She had two photographs of the interior, see below. Sadly there is no writing on the back save for the photographer's stamp which says - Foto. Werkstatt, W.Hoven. Credfeld DAH LER DYK 182.

The third photo of the soldiers in uniform may be from the same location but I'm not sure. The photo is dated 6.7.1945, the soldiers names are written on the back - Ted Pratt, Joe or Jack Halling, Frank Warner and Jim Noades, it was Jim who ran the club.

I can identify a poster on the wall of the club in the background of one of the photos which says, Athletics. This indicates that it is a club connected to the British and the Army rather than a German club. I did wonder if it was connected to the NAAFI but the photos I found of the NAAFI club in Berlin looked different to this.

I would love to know where the club was and if it is still there. Can anyone identify it or does anyone have any idea which clubs British soldiers used in Berlin in late 1945/early 1946? Any information will be gratefully received.
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steve
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Number of posts : 748
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: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   22/1/2017, 19:43

Welcome dave-o

Amazing piece of history here if the date 6 Jul 45 is correct

17 Jul 45 – HQ 7th Armoured Division arrived at Lancaster House Fehrbelliner Platz Wilmersdorf Berlin with the equivalent of two brigades to form the British Forces Berlin

This must be the advance party but only have a small amount of detail as not yet got to Berlin with my research, however the initial occupation of Berlin was the responsibility of 30 Corps District

4th Line of Communication Sub Area (21st Army Group Troops) arrived in Bielefeld from Holland on 16 Jun 45 – advance party to Berlin 27 Jun 45 – Kladow Airfield Berlin-Babelsberg

There was a problem, at first attempt the Russian Army turned the advance party back!

From original documentation have the following detail:
Garrison HQ Troops was ordered to send the following troops to be at the concentration area Braunschweig for Berlin by 5 Jul 45
one Sub EFI (NAAFI)
201 Bulk Issue Store (NAAFI)
one Officers Club
one WOs and Sgts Club
two ORs Clubs
detachment mineral water factory
detachment one bakery

Cannot help with the location but would be a requisitioned German club and clearly a party for the some of the first British troops in Berlin

If further information comes to light will let you know
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dave-o
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PostSubject: Re: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   25/1/2017, 13:31

I also posted this message on the Roots Chat family history blog. someone said that the photographer's stamp is an address in Krefeld near the Dutch border, so it is possible that the club was there and not in Berlin.
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steve
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Number of posts : 748
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: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   25/1/2017, 18:18

71st (Royal Welch Fusiliers) Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery of 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division command 1st Corps District arrived in Krefeld in June 1945, prior to this based at Hamburg Central Station when the division was under command 12th later 8th Corps

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

Hope this helps in your research
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JPW
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1003
Age : 75
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   25/1/2017, 20:28

Dave

Welcome

Have been following this topic with interest (my good friend Steve and I often take a twin track approach to queries such as this)

My instant reaction was, has the family applied to the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow for a copy of the individual's service record? Will cost you £30 but could provide you invaluable detail of his entire military career and give a clue as to where he was based after VE Day (May 1945)
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1003
Age : 75
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   2/2/2017, 22:18

Dave

Had the opportunity to visit my favourite military library in Aldershot today and reread what I regard as the definitive history of the British Army in Berlin, Berlin and its British Ally 1945-1990 written by the last British GOC, Major General Robert Corbett. In one of the Annexes it contains a list of all the British units who were stationed in Berlin. Looking at the detail for July 1945 the Garrison comprised mainly specially selected units of the famous 7 Armoured Division (The Desert Rats) plus a Canadian Contingent who participated in the last formal Allied Victory in Europe Parade. They were replaced by a conventional Infantry Brigade Group. In neither case is a Royal Artillery unit mentioned. The truth will lie in your friend's record of service documents. The evidence so fas now supports my good friend Steve's suggestion that he was based in the Krefeld area (but may have visited Berlin on leave)
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steve
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Number of posts : 748
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: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   3/2/2017, 10:44

According to 8 Corps District War Dairies from Kew the following were there in the early days

HQ Royal Artillery 7th Armoured Division 14 Jul 45 – 5 Oct 45
3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery
5th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery

As yet no locations for the RHA units

Hope this helps
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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: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   4/2/2017, 21:53

Wesley House, Spandau ?

After the Second World War, Berlin was occupied by the four allied powers of the Soviet Union, the United States, France and Great Britain. British troops occupied the boroughs of Charlottenburg, Wilmersdorf, Tiergarten and Spandau, with their headquarters at the Olympic Stadium at the Spandau end of Charlottenburg and most of the army barracks in Spandau itself.

The army commandeered a small villa between central Spandau and some of the biggest barracks, and this is what became Wesley House. Run by the British Methodist Church with an army chaplain in charge, it offered Sunday worship services, but also a "home from home" for British troops and their families, and was also open to anyone who wished to come in for coffee and tea, chat, English language newspapers and greetings cards, English breakfast and so on.

source ; http://www.methodist-berlin.de/aboutus/congregation.html
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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: Trying to locate / identify forces club in post WWII Berlin   4/2/2017, 22:16

Units in Berlin July 1945    (VE Day Parade)

RHA seemed to claim Right of the Line and got places near
the front (Searchlight Battery RA, correctly placed)

The VE Day Parade - List of Units:  

http://western-allies-berlin.com/publications/other/detail/victory-parade#p1

and many more interesting pages for Berlin Fans


Last edited by Pborn3 on 4/2/2017, 22:29; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Right of the Line)
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