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 Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg

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manxmac
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 7
Age : 80
Localisation : Isle of Man
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : BlandfordBordonAndoverDuisbergArborfield
Registration date : 2015-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   6/1/2015, 11:35

I guess things were still pretty basic in 1957, most of the vehicles were ancient WW2. I had an Austin K3, everyone called them "Austin Screamers" because of the transmission noise. It had a wooden tongue and groove cab, I naively asked why there were small square metal plates nailed onto the planks. typical daft rookie they are to cover the old bullet holes! This was followed by Bedford QLs, Diamond T tank Transporter and a North American half track for repairing Centurions in the field. Your RAOC vehicles were the cream of British engineering Fodens and Leyland Hippos 8wheeler general cargo and quite useless! Since  the UK had no decent trunk roads they were incapable of maintaining even a constant 40mph without the rear axles overheating and catching fire. Any idea of rapid response to a Russian threat would have been a fiasco. National Service finished in about 1960 and there would be massive improvements in kit and morale very soon after.
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1016
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   6/1/2015, 14:34

Manxmac

Can you remember the name of the REME unit you were posted to in Duisburg?
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manxmac
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 7
Age : 80
Localisation : Isle of Man
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : BlandfordBordonAndoverDuisbergArborfield
Registration date : 2015-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   6/1/2015, 17:04

Strange as it may seem as National Service men on our first working posting (not Training) I don't think we were ever made aware of the full title of our unit. I understood it was a Base Workshops, this site describes it as an Infantry workshops. I had been trained as an A Mech (armoured vehicle) although I worked mainly on lorries and VW staff cars and micro bus. There were a large number of German civilian mechanics who did work on Alvis 6 wheel armoured cars and also the Conqueror heavy tank, this surprised us as both were new and of groundbreaking design and probably had some secret equipment installed, I don't imagine that civilian mechanics would be covered by official secrets.
Somebody on this site says that the Glamorgan workshops were the light end of an armoured brigade, there was an RAOC stores and logistics section who were billeted in our block. I only remember there being a cooking school but they were billeted separately. In 1957 we were issued with North American half track vehicles which we modified by fitting a folding crane which used the existing winch. During tank exercises the whole of our REME contingent was deployed in close support to the tanks. The mobile repair crews would accompany the tank regiments as the half tracks had good cross country capability we could usually carry out even quite major repairs ie change gearboxes etc in the field. Previously the Centurion would have to be recovered and trailered to a repair site. I think this modification was invented by a staff sergeant at Glamorgan barracks and a group of us mechanics modified the half tracks as required and tested them in the field during exercises
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1016
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   8/1/2015, 20:13

Manxmac

Don't think we have yet established the correct title for the REME unit you were posted to. Clearly it was a Field Force unit in view of your comments on deploying on Exercises (a static/ Base Workshop with an almost entirely civilian German workforce with REME senior rank supervisors) would not have done so) Could e therefore you were with 4 Infantry Workshop. Hopefully someone with the relevent information might drop into this site shortly

Your remarks regarding the Fitter Half Tracks brought back fond memories of Munster 14 years later. The LAD I was with was one of the last to recieve FV 434s. There was an intense rivalry between the rival Fitter Sections as to had the best vehicle. Most considered the half track to be faster, more comfortable as Base (there were a number of "illegal" modifications regarding sleeping/feeding arrangements which the Infantry Company Commanders tolerated on the basis that they did not wish to upset their supporting REME) All agreed however that the HIAB crane was a distinct improvement.
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manxmac
LCpl
LCpl


Number of posts : 7
Age : 80
Localisation : Isle of Man
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : BlandfordBordonAndoverDuisbergArborfield
Registration date : 2015-01-03

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   9/1/2015, 15:10

Hi JPW
I am a little in awe of writing to a Maj Gen but am enjoying reminiscing about my National Service.
I was deferred whilst I attended technical college and took my City & Guilds, which was a fairly decent qualification at the time. I was about 21 when I did my service and about 2 years older than most of my contempories. I am a somewhat embarrassed not to know the name of my unit. as far as I was concerned we were never big on esprit de corp etc. Our normal work was with wheeled vehicles and there were vast parks full of wagons, VWs, Land rovers etc. German mechanics were employed on quite a large scale and about half the workshop area was German demarcated and about half for us. The Germans seemed to get the more technical share of the work, whereas the REME personnel where detached on all sorts of different errands, vehicle recovery, vehicle inspections etc. However if there was an exercise it always involved armour and the whole REME and RAOC from Glamorgan Barracks was involved just leaving a skeleton staff and the Germans on camp. There were two quasi service organisations one composed of mainly German refugees dealing with camp maintenance ( blue battledress type uniform) and the other composed of non German refugees and displaced persons from all over the war zone Poland etc who were now stateless (Green battledress) who handled security, dog handling etc. When we set off on exercises there was a wide range of vehicles Bedford Ql's,( Command vehicle, Generator vehicles, Mobile workshops with drills lathe etc,) Land rovers, VW staff car for our CO, 6 Half tracks, Diamond T Tank transporters and Scammell recovery trucks as well as RAOC 8 wheelers for stores transport.
I have a fund of interesting/ amusing experiences but don't know whether this site or the REME site is better suited to stuff based on Glamorgan Barracks. Thanks for your interest.
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Cliffo
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 97
Age : 82
Localisation : Spain
Cap Badge : RASC
Places Served : Farnborough, Aldershot, Sennelager, Duisdurg, Cyprus - Platres, Nicosia
Registration date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   4/6/2015, 15:56

It was definitely 4 inf wksps at least to the end of 1954 when I left there. They were always away when the big schemes were taking place . I was interested to read that the barracks were deserted at these times, in 1957 - presumably the REME technical training school and the ACC school had left by then. 113 PSP RASC moved to Bruggen in late 54 or early 55. Been away from this sitee for a while - technical problems !!
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1016
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   4/6/2015, 16:37

Cliffo

Welcome back
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BobG
Lt Col
Lt Col


Number of posts : 327
Age : 78
Localisation : Northumberland
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   4/6/2015, 17:21

The REME Tech Trg Wing was still in Glamorgan Bks in 1959 when I did my Class 1 trade course, as was the ACC School.

BobG
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Cliffo
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 97
Age : 82
Localisation : Spain
Cap Badge : RASC
Places Served : Farnborough, Aldershot, Sennelager, Duisdurg, Cyprus - Platres, Nicosia
Registration date : 2012-11-28

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   4/6/2015, 17:25

Thankyou JPW
Going back to Manxmac's comments - even in 1952 the legacy of the Black Watch could still be felt. There was considerable simmering sesentment among many of the residents - especially in some of the local bars which were best avoided . The REME did a great job in trying to reverse this and there weren't any serious incidents during the time I was there. I think 113PSP RASC occupied their depot on the Rhine soon after the end of the war at about the same time as the Black Watch occupied Glamorgan Barracks and some of their aggressiveness must have rubbed off because the PSP charge book had almost daily entries for drunk and disorderly and fighting !!
However, things must have improved enormously because sometime in the 1970s the RASC unit then occupying the barracks were given the freedom of Duisburg !
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Goldmohur
WOII
WOII


Number of posts : 93
Age : 76
Localisation : Doncaster
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Gutersloh, Duisburg, Bracht, Rheindahlen. Also Non BAOR, Blackdown, Corsham. Shoeburyness, Ty Croes, Aden, Bicester.
Registration date : 2007-03-10

PostSubject: Re: Glamorgan Barracks Duisburg   6/6/2015, 14:42

36 Hy AD Regt RA arrived in Nov 61, occupying the accommodation vacated by REME Tech Trg unit. The ACC School was still within the barracks in Aug 64.

This was my first posting in BAOR and, being a wartime born kid, I was surprised at the cordial relations we had with the locals in that time - I write as one who spent most of his leisure time in the bars and on the trams in the area.
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