A. Leslie Palmer
I served almost 8 years in the Army starting in 1946. My basic training was at 90 PTC, Ranby
Camp, Retford thence to the 59th Training Regt., RAC at Barnard Castle, Co.
Durham - don't remember the name of the camp. I was training to be a Driver/Operator
and spent time on the #19 Wireless Set travelling around the countryside near Bishop Auckland. Gunnery practice using
the 2 pounder and 7.92 mm coaxially mounted machine gun-weapons for the Daimler armoured car. I had expected to be assigned
to the 12th Royal Lancers but I opted for the potential officers’ squad and we were destined for the newly opened Royal Military Academy
at Sandhurst - it opened in Jan 1947. I eventually entered, what is now, the Royal Logistic Corps
(formerly RASC). I would like to know the name of the camp in Barnard Castle and its history and, of course, anyone alive, who may recall me
or those times. Thank you
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The name you are looking for is. 59th Training Regt R.A.C. Deerbolt Camp. Barnard Castle.
spent 6 months there training in 1947. Remember the name of the Railway Station? " Broomilaw Halt"
gone through Dr Beeching.
All the Best
Jack- So nice to hear from you.Who knows we may have passed like ships in the night back
in Jan '47. I never finished my training as I was accepted for the new Sandhurst which really was like the former
in terms of inmates! A mixture of Public and Grammar school boys although all had to have served in the ranks for at
least 6 months. Back to the 59th. I was training as a Dvr/Op but was transferred to a potential officer squad and got
the rank of Local/unpaid/Acting Lance-Corporal-a fatal mistake we were setup for all sorts of abuse. That one stripe marked
us as a member of the hated officer class. Not for long. In Feb '47 I was posted to an RAEC outfit in Aldershot.
Lost my stripe and studied military history until entering Sandhurst in April. My memories of Barnard Castle
are fading, but I do recollect how kind the local folks were. I did a lot of training on the #19 set which involved riding
in the back of a15cwt truck along with 3 other guys. We would take a lunch break in a village pub near Bishops Auckland where
the landlord would give us a free pint! Such nice folk. They were happy days. Finally left the service and married a
gal from Los Angeles. Still married to the same lady and living in Mill Valley California. Keep in touch-Cheers
In an answer to Mr. Palmer,
the 59th Tr. Reg. RAC,
Camp was named Barford Camp, on the right hand side, about 4+ miles, NW, out from Barney. Between Barford Camp and Barney
on the right of the road was the 61st Tr. Reg. RAC Camp, I believe called Aliwal Camp, where
they trained on Shermans. South of Barney and over the river was the 54th Tr. Reg. RAC at
Deerbolt Camp, training on Cromwells and Comets.
Barford Camp today
is a “Banger Raceway”, built on the “PARADE GROUND”. The RSM will be twirling in his grave
I was posted from the Reconnaissance
Corps at Waitwith Lines at Catterick in early 1945 to the 59th. Here
I was a Daimler and Staghound Armoured Car Driving Instructor, (could I have trained you?) until 1947. I was posted to my allocated Regiment, the 11th Hussars PAO, then stationed in Delmenhorst, Westphalia, Germany. Is this of any use to you?
Contact me if you need to
on firstname.lastname@example.org. Greetings from a very old “SWEAT” and hoping you are well, how old are you now? Norman.
click here for more from Norman Johnston
I must apologise, since this correspondence has jogged my ancient
memory, I have remembered that it was Streatlam Camp, not Aliwal Camp of the 61st Tr. Reg. All the time that I
was in the Barford Camp, the names of Westwick and Humbleton Camps, were unknown to me, as is the Stainton Grove Military
(note: a map of the camps has now been added to the regiments
As a frequent Duty Driver, I drove Officers to and from the
61st and the 54th and also to and from Raby Castle, where there was an Officers Club.
When in Barnard Castle on a weekend, I occasionally met with squaddies from
the 61st and the 54th, but never from those other Camps.
My only memory that I remember, is that around 1946-47, that
a Royal Tank Regiment was in Training over that way, because volunteers to join them, were being asked for in Barford Camp,
I also remember some of us walking to and from the Black Swan (The Dirty Duck) Inn in Staindrop.
Other memories are coming back. We would leave Barford and drive the Daimler A/Cars to Warcop Camp, near Appleby-in-Teesdale, for 2 pdr
Cannon and the BESA. 7.92 Co-Axial Machine-Gun, Firing Practice on the Ranges there.
I also remember with great pleasure, my many visits to the
Bowes Museum, a magnificent Building.
If there is anything else that I can help with, please ask
me, regards, Norman Johnston.
Norman-It's a lazy Saturday afternoon in California and I was just idling my time away and landed on the Bookmarks section
of my trusty MAC. It was Barnard Castle and a note from Mr. Norman Johnston. Norman,you really must be "an old sweat"-I'm
a young 82 year young ' un.My memories from Barford Camp are somewhat dim. However I do recall the mess enjoyed good army
food-it was cooked by German PW's and these guys had not yet been repatriated. I remember that all of our instructors
were excellent-all combat veterans from WW2. Do you live in this area?. I would be interested in your history and thx
for getting in touch. - Les Palmer
The 59th Training Regiment was at at Barford Camp and for Training, used small Daimler Scout Cars, larger Daimler
Mk.1 and Mk. 2 Armoured Cars, also the American larger Staghound Armoured Cars.
I was an Armoured Car Driving Instructor there from 1945 to 1947. Norman (Taffy) Johnston. Ex 11th Hussars PAO.
Morning, just to say that the 59th was at Barford Camp when I arrived there in 1945, I was there until posted
to Germany in 1947, so as far as I am concerned, the 59th was never at this other Camp, during those years,
Bill Hall tells us that the 59th Training Regiment was at the training Camp known as Barford Training Camp. Thanks
for getting in touch, Bill