WW2 relics at Stainton Grove Military Camp, Barnard Castle, DL12 8UJ, UK

The first occupants of Stainton Camp - after Dunkirk

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1946 aerial photograph of Stainton and Blackbeck Camps
A post war plan of Stainton Camp
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Stainton Grove - The Military Camp
Barnard Castle - A Military Town
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Life on the Home Front
Stainton Grove Military Camp - After the War
Gilbert Knott - 1946 Photographs
People who were here - Ray Smith
People who were here - Brian Nimick
People who were here - Walter Cowans and family
People who were here - Mike Rolls and family
First four civilian families 1979
People who were here - Eddie Connelly
People who were here - Martin McKechnie
People who were here - Len Rogers
People who were here - Mrs Deasey
People who were here - Neil Turner
People who were here - Mike Linden
People who were here - Edward George Howard
People who were here - Joan Leslie
People who were here - Josef Dagner
People who were here - Alan Armstrong
People who were here - Fred Burgess
People who were here - Ray Turner
People who were at Barford - Frank Barry
People who were at Barford - George Yalden
People who were at Barford - Barrie Corkill
People who were at Streatlam - George Carpenter and John Smailes
People who were at Streatlam - Terry Rourke-
People who were at Streatlam - Eddie Wolfenden
People who were at Streatlam - Ken Keld
People who were at Streatlam - Tom Waller
People who were at Streatlam - Stan Sudron
People who were in the area - A. Leslie Palmer
People who were in the area - Tomas Morgan
People who were in the area - Nigel Fletcher
Local Memories - Margaret Teward
St. Mary's R.C. School
Tank Tracks
The Gatehouse
Romney / Nissen Huts
Huts
More Huts
Even More Huts
Southern Edge
The Green
The NAAFI
The Aliwal Cinema
Blackbeck POW Camp
Warcop Camp
Launch Event 3rd November 2007
Celebration Event 1st November 2008
Celebration Event - photos
Celebration Event - wartime recipes
Pride in our Landscape project
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Search for survivors of wartime mill camp

8:15am Friday 16th November 2007

AN effort has been launched to trace survivors of hundreds of troops secretly sent to a North-East town after their rescue from Dunkirk in 1940.

Details have emerged about battleweary soldiers being put up in a drill hall, a former mill and Co-op building at Barnard Castle until a military base was ready for them.

They then became the first occupants of Stainton Camp, and many later took part in war operations in Europe.

Eileen O'Hara, who is managing a project to compile its history, said the troop movements were carried out under a strict military news blackout.

"Everything was done so secretly at that time that we have been able to discover very little about it," she said.

"I haven't come across any official records.

"We would love to hear from any of the troops involved, or their families, as it was a really important episode in the life of the camp and the town.

"If we don't put some details into writing now, it could be forgotten for ever."

More than 338,000 troops were rescued from Dunkirk, in northern France, where they had been trapped by advancing German forces, during a ten day operation - described by Winston Churchill as a miracle.

A flotilla of 900 naval and civilian vessels ferried them back to England, but about 5,000 soldiers were killed by German aircraft.

Mrs O'Hara said: "With so many men being brought back, they must have needed special billets for them, so it would be natural to send a lot to Barnard Castle.

"But we need to hear from the soldiers, or local people who helped them, to find out the full story."

The project is being carried out by Stainton Grove Community Association, whose members live in houses close to the camp, which used to be Army married quarters.

The camp became a training area later in the war and closed in the Seventies.

The houses were handed over to Teesdale District Council by the Ministry of Defence.

The group is also researching a prisoner of war unit, known as Blackbeck Camp, set up beside the Stainton base.

A number of German troops held there were sent to work on local farms.

By Jim McTaggart 

Search for survivors of wartime mill camp (Northern Echo)

Ullathorne Mill was near the bridge over the Tees but was demolished many years ago.  The chimney was brought down in the early 1970s.  It was witnessed by a large crowd which included children from Barnard Castle C of E Infants School.

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Our heritage is who we are today; we are the only ones who can protect it.

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The Memories of Stainton Grove Military Camp Project was one of a number of community-led projects along and nearby the route of the proposed South West Durham Heritage Corridor. 

 

The South West Durham Heritage Corridor will be a multi-user route along the former Bishop Auckland to Barnard Castle railway line. 

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Share your memories with us!  We want to make a record of life here before it is too late.  Please get in touch.  All your memories are important to us.

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The Memories of Stainton Grove Military Camp Project is being led by Stainton Grove Community Association and coordinated by Groundwork West Durham and Darlington. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the 'Your Heritage' grant programme.

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