St Eligius, Arborfield
Arborfield Garrison shown within Berkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Arborfield and Newland|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Arborfield Garrison was 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 army vacated the site in 2015 and it is now being redeveloped for housing, with a total of 3,500 homes planned.
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.
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.
In October 1977 Poperinghe barracks closed as a training centre.
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 maintenance 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.
The REME Museum of Technology is situated adjacent to the Hazebrouck Barracks main gate.
In July 2011 the then Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, announced that RAF Lyneham would be the new site of the Defence Technical Training Change Programme (DTTCP) centre. This would coincide with the closures of Arborfield Garrison and the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME) at Bordon, with all posts at both bases moving to Lyneham by 2015.
Under current plans, the land occupied by the garrison will be sold to Wokingham Borough Council and turned into a housing development, which will include 3,500 houses, retail units and a secondary school.
- Hume, Colonel R. (June 1984). Arborfield and the Army Remount Service, 1904-1937. Historical Society of Pennsylvania. p. 4. JSTOR 20083177.
- "About REME". Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. British Army. 2010. Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Sugar, Mark (23 August 2004). "Royals to move into new training home". The Football Network. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
- "Royals' training ground now looks even smarter". Reading Post. 29 June 2007. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "RAF Lyneham to be defence training centre". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- "MoD confirms Arborfield Garrison closure". BBC News. 19 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
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