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 Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo

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AJK
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Number of posts : 1
Registration date : 2019-06-02

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PostSubject: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime2/6/2019, 16:14

Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Unadju11
Hello everyone and thank you for allowing me to join.

I am researching my family history and would like to identify the unit shown on this photo, which is a cropped version of the original.

I have the original version of this photo which may be of further interest to other members should anyone wish to see it.

AJK
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 894
Age : 71
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime2/6/2019, 17:49

Amazing piece of post WW2 history
127th (Highland) Field Regiment of Headquarters Royal Artillery 51st (Highland) Infantry Division were in Nampcel Kaserne later Sheil Barracks from 9 Nov 45 to disbandment/suspended animation in Mar 46, therefore this photo was taken before Mar 46

Headquarters Royal Engineers 51st (Highland) Infantry Division
9 Jul 45 – Gibraltar (Kavallerie) Kaserne later Gibraltar Barracks Verden
17 Jun 45 – 239 Field Park Company with 16 Bridging Platoon arrived
21 Jul 45 – 276 Field Company arrived

Hope this helps, would appreciate a copy of this photo, will send a private message

https://britisharmyingermany.com
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 894
Age : 71
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime3/6/2019, 09:00

Thanks AJK for sending the image can confirm your uncle's unit is 239 Field Park Company (being pointed out), prior to Verden the unit was in Beckdorf south-east of Harsefeld, Landkreis Stade, this photo would have been taken on Lindhooper Strasse just before the entrance to Caithness Barracks that appears to have formerly been named Alamein Barracks, have an interest having served in Verden 67 to 69, thanks again


Last edited by steve on 3/6/2019, 09:26; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : More detail)
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Snoopy60
Cpl
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Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime19/6/2019, 20:21

If I am not wrong: Alamein Barracks is mentioned here for the first time in the connection with Verden?
Is there any information when the name Caithness Barracks was first used?
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 894
Age : 71
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime20/6/2019, 09:42

Thanks to JPW have a copy of a BAOR document: Renaming of German Barracks dated 16 Feb 46

The following were suggested for Verden

Nampcel = Perth (ended up Sheil)
Kolberg (should read Dettingen and Kolberg) = Caithness
Gibraltar = Port George (remained Gibraltar BTW the only known German Kaserne with a British name)
Dottingen? or Bottingen?....poor quality of the scan = Sterling (not sure this could be Cluvental Barracks where the mobile homes were in the 1960s)

Evidence shows that unit commanders were applying their own choice of name and HQ BAOR was trying to reorganise things, initially counties and towns but later notable personal too


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Snoopy60
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Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime20/6/2019, 20:26

Thank you for indicating the date when the barracks were renamed.

Until the 1930s the three barracks in Verden had no proper name, they were named after the streets where they were situated (Lindhooper Street, Brunnenweg, Holzmarkt). The C.O. and later General Walther von Seydlitz announced the renaming on 4 June 1938.

Dettingen barracks (Caithness), consisted of two parts, the older one in western direction reminds of the battle at Dettingen near Aschaffenburg/Bavaria on 27 June 1743, at which in the Austrian War of Succession Hanoverians and British troops were opposing the French. The newer eastern part, built in 1935 -1937, was given the name Kolberg Barracks in memory of the defence of the town of Kolberg in Pomerania against the French troops in 1807.
Caithness was completed by further buildings: 1955/1956 Globe Cinema, 1968 Churchill School and 1977/1978 a building for the Sergeants (?) Mess.

The Infantry Barracks on Brunnenweg (Sheil), built 1935 - 1937, was named Nampcel Barracks in memory of the battles of a local infantry regiment in World War I at Nampcel/Aisne (France) in September 1914.


The Holzmarkt barracks were given the name Gibraltar barracks.
This name was to commemorate the victorious defence of the fortress of Gibraltar by English and Hanoverian troops from 1779 - 1783. The Elector of Hanover was in personal union king of England, so that in this way the troops of these countries fought together.
Today a commemorative plaque on the building remembers the (german) units stationed here, including the 51 (H) Div. Royal Engineers.

Cluvental: not a barracks in the real sense. There were three five-storey Wehrmacht storehouses, built in 1938, to provide food for people (members of the Wehrmacht) and animals (horses!).
On 1 March 1962 the Ministry of Defence had five mobile homes (Bluebird Caravans) for married officers of the 1st Signal Regiment set up in the Cluvental.
The British army used one of the buildings in the 1960s to store furniture, including equipment for the Married Quarters. From 1987, the Bundeswehr was based in the Cluvental (Verteidigungskreiskommando 254 = Defense District Command), which had previously resided in the Gibraltar barracks (from 1959). In September 1990 the building in the Cluvental was renamed "Aller Kaserne", but the unit was dissolved in September 1994.

Thus the more than 300 years old history of Verden as a garrison town ended, after the British army had already left at the end of 1993.
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 894
Age : 71
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime21/6/2019, 10:10

Thank you for an excellent account

Regarding Cluvental Barracks the mobile homes were for other ranks by 1967, on Christmas Day 1967 I was on shift (Signals Despatch Service) in the Communications Centre in Sheil Barracks, the shift corporal was living with his family in one of the mobile homes and we left the barracks in the military Hillman Husky to have Christmas dinner, good job the Russians did not attack that day!

Do you know where Cluvental Barracks was, as I cannot remember but recall the high buildings, in my BAOR research post VE Day up to 1 Mar 49 have found Thief Barracks in Verden, home to various REME Workshops and Light Aid Detachments, the grid reference points to the Lessingstrasse/Agnes-Miegel-Strasse area.
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Snoopy60
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime21/6/2019, 18:17

Thief Barracks doesn't ring a bell.

On Google Maps you will find "Cluvental" with the following data: Verden, Clueversweg.

One block of the three storehouses was blown up many years ago (this was not possible until the second attempt, the material was too solid!). Nowadays one of the blocks is used by a biscuit factory as a warehouse (Verdener Keks- und Waffelfabrik Hans Freitag). The Technisches Hilfswerk (THW = Technical Relief Organisation) is located on the remaining site (former Aller Kaserne of the Bundeswehr).

One more remark about the mobile homes: Due to the housing shortage for married soldiers, further mobile homes were set up at Brunnenweg in the mid-1960s, on an undeveloped area, near the road, just left of the entrance to Sheil Barracks.
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stevemarsdin
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Number of posts : 4
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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime9/10/2020, 10:19

These RAF Aerial photos from 14 April 1945 clearly show the barracks. I've attached the 658 Squadron report, which explains the smoke from the crashed 1/2Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Verden10
Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Verden10

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stevemarsdin
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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime9/10/2020, 10:21

2/2Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Verden11
Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Verden12

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Snoopy60
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Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime10/10/2020, 11:05

Very precious photos that I have been looking for a long time, thank you!
Some more information:
The 14th of April 1945 was the worst day of WW2 for the town of Verden. Already in the morning the use of explosive and incendiary bombs had caused numerous damages to buildings.  This was followed by massive low-flying attacks in the afternoon, so the St. Josef Church, the cemetery as well as two neighbouring schools were hit by bombs - the schools despite being marked as military hospitals (red cross on white background on the roofs). While trying to extinguish a fire in the straw storage rooms at the Wehrmacht Storehouses  at „Cluvental“ (no barracks in the true sense as mentioned in my above post), 11 firemen died from enemy fire as 2 bombs exploded in the midst of the men. A total of 40 people lost their lives in the town that day, some of them under collapsed houses, a third of them children, including the three daughters of a family aged 5, 9 and 12.

In the first photo you can see the burning storehouse, in the lower edge of the picture it's the river Aller. The two road bridges were blown up by men of the Wehrmacht and Volkssturm on 13 April 1945.

It has always been said that it was the attack of American fighter bombers. Is there a source reference for the photos?
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stevemarsdin
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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime12/10/2020, 10:04

Hi,

I was recently given the set of photos (there are about 20).

I do not know the details of the bombing raid.

The very first photo is an extract from the 658 Squadron log. This was an RAF reconnaissance squadron. Just one aircraft (an Auster) flew that day, to take photos at the request of Royal Engineers of 12 Corps, to help them plan routes, bridging etc. for when they had to cross the Aller.

In the log it states that the black smoke is from the wreckage of a Typhoon aircraft that was shot down by the Germans. If this is correct then the raid was probably by the RAF as the Typhoon was a rocket-firing ground-attack aircraft used mainly by the RAF but not by the Americans.

If I may ask, what is your connection to Verden ?

Steve
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alan8376
Brig
Brig


Number of posts : 523
Age : 72
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

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime12/10/2020, 11:02

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Last edited by alan8376 on 13/10/2020, 09:19; edited 1 time in total
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steve
LE Maj
LE Maj
steve

Number of posts : 894
Age : 71
Localisation : near Cuxhaven
Cap Badge : Royal Signals + Royal Engineers
Places Served : Verden-Aller + Willich + Iserlohn + Hameln
Registration date : 2010-02-14

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime12/10/2020, 11:18

Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Luftbi10

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Snoopy60
Cpl
Cpl


Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime12/10/2020, 20:22

So far I have found absolutely nothing in our archives or anywhere else of the shooting down of a Tyhoon aircraft by the Germans in April 1945, but I will continue to research on this subject.

A comparison with the old city map of Verden from that time makes it clear that the clouds of black smoke are definitely rising above the Wehrmacht storehouse attacked on 14 April 1945.

Due to the destroyed bridges, the British troops could not enter Verden via the riverside. The troops of the 53rd Welsh Division (the 71st Infantry Brigade and the 5th Royal Tank Regiment) reached the town by land from the east in the early hours of 17 April 1945, very close to the barracks (on the aerial photo of Steve in the previous post it is the forests in the north).

I have been researching the history of the British Garrison Verden 1945 - 1993 (not yet completed!) for many years and would be grateful for any further information.
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stevemarsdin
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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime12/10/2020, 20:48

Hi, I was given around 200 photos. All relating to RE of 12 Corps and mainly of Antwerp, Nijmegen, Arnhem and Wesel. I passed these on to a historian who specialises in this area. I was then given a set of about 20, taken on 14 April 1945, which I identified as Verden. I could see the massive barracks in the photos and came across this Forum (you will see that these are my only posts). Now I’ve identified the locations if these photos would be of use to you I will give them to you (the original photos are much clearer, for example the cavalry barracks, now the horse museum, can be seen in detail, with a magnifying glass).

Steve
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Snoopy60
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Cpl


Number of posts : 12
Registration date : 2015-02-28

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PostSubject: Re: Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo   Verden Units Royal Engineers - old family photo Icon_minitime13/10/2020, 16:50

Steve, you're absolutely right. I had focused far too much on the photo with the black smoke above the storehouse. I completely ignored (although I actually knew it) that a British Hawker Typhoon aircraft did indeed crash in a field on April 14, 1945, not directly in Verden, but in a neighbouring village on the river Weser (Groß Hutbergen, about 5 km westwards from the storehouse). The pilot was killed in the crash. The same day British troops captured the village.
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