Arborfield Garrison

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Arborfield Garrison
Arborfield Garrison is located in Berkshire
Arborfield Garrison
Arborfield Garrison
 Arborfield Garrison shown within Berkshire
OS grid reference SU767656
Civil parish Arborfield and Newland
Unitary authority Wokingham
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
List of places

Coordinates: 51°23′03″N 0°53′49″W / 51.384204°N 0.896967°W / 51.384204; -0.896967

Arborfield Garrison is a British Army garrison in the English county of Berkshire, approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) south east of the village of Arborfield Cross. The Garrison and its associated housing estates are split between the civil parishes of Arborfield and Newland and Barkham. Both parishes are within the unitary authority of Wokingham.


The garrison was established in 1904 as the Remount Depot, which supplied the military with horses for both operational and ceremonial purposes. It was operated by the Army Remount Service. The Depot operated throughout the First World War, closing in 1937.[1]

During the Second World War, part of the garrison functioned as the Army Technical School. Since its establishment, the garrison has been the location of a number of Army Apprentices College and technical schools, and has provided apprenticeships to an estimated 50,000 trainees.

The Garrison was also the "Depot" for The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), this was housed at Poperinge Barracks. The Barracks was named after the town of Poperinge in Belgium and was previously located in the south-west of Arborfield Garrison, having been built back in 1939 to accommodate and train reservists. Also during the war the Royal Artillery had units based here until just prior to D-Day in June 1944. Following their departure and up to July 1946, the barracks were then used as an Army depot for the assembly and dispatch of troops bound for service in north-west Europe.

In that month of July 1946, the REME Training Centre was formed and a Regimental Training Tactical Wing was established in the barracks – now to be known as 'Training Battalion and Depot REME'. The Barracks consisted of wooden huts mostly grouped in 'spiders', each spider being made up of six huts joined by corridors to central washing and utility rooms.

It was to be thirty-one years later, in October 1977, when Poperinge barracks finally closed as a training centre. Over the whole thirty-eight years of its existence, literally thousands of REME soldiers passed through the gates of Poperinge Barracks, on their way to operations and posting all over the world.

Current use[edit]

Arborfield is currently the location of the Regimental Headquarters of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers of the British Army. Within the Garrison is a significant area of housing, containing a mixture of military and civilian properties.

The garrison contains Hazebrouck Barracks, which is a training base for the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) School of Electronic and Aeronautical Engineering (SEAE). The potential craftsmen within SEAE, study in the school to learn a trade as aircraft technicians, avionics technicians, and electronics technicians, (which encompasses all maintenanence operatives for all land based electronic equipment).

The Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE), established on 1 April 2004 as a result of the Defence Training Review (DTR), is responsible for training of aircraft and avionic technicians (Renamed to School of Army Aeronautical Engineering as of 2013). This college (school) from its conception has been integrated as part of SEAE.[2]

The REME Museum of Technology is situated adjacent to the Hazebrouck Barracks main gate.

Reading F.C.[edit]

In 2004, Reading F.C. moved their training facilities to Hogwood Park, located within the garrison.[3][4]


It was announced in July 2011 by the British Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox that RAF Lyneham will be the new site of the Defence Technical Training Change Programme centre (DTTCP).[5] This coincides with the closure of Arborfield Garrison, and The School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME) at Bordon, both of which are due to move to RAF Lyneham by 2015.[6]

Under current plans the land will be sold to Wokingham District Council who wish to develop the land which will include 3,500 houses, retail units and a Secondary School.[7]


  1. ^ Hume, Colonel R. (June 1984). Arborfield and the Army Remount Service, 1904-1937. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. p. 4. JSTOR 20083177. 
  2. ^ "About REME". Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. British Army. 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Sugar, Mark (23 August 2004). "Royals to move into new training home". The Football Network. 
  4. ^ "Royals’ training ground now looks even smarter". Reading Post. 29 June 2007. 
  5. ^ "RAF Lyneham to be defence training centre". BBC. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "MoD confirms Arborfield Garrison closure". BBC. 19 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "MoD confirms Arborfield Garrison closure". BBC. 19 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011. 

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