Tank Training Area
Location within Dorset
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Built for||War Office|
|Occupants||Royal Tank Regiment|
The garrison is home to The Armour Centre and contains two barracks complexes and two forest and heathland training areas that support Phase Two training for soldiers of the Royal Armoured Corps and trade training for the Household Cavalry Regiment as well as other armoured units.
The camps at Bovington and Lulworth were originally established in 1899 as an infantry training area and ranges. In 1916, they became training camps for the Heavy Branch of the Machine Gun Corps which relocated from Norfolk. The Heavy Branch was responsible for the operation of the tank in the British Army. In 1917 the Heavy Branch split from the Machine Gun Corps to become the Tank Corps, with the Depot and Central Schools being based at Bovington.
T.E Lawrence, better known as "Lawrence of Arabia", was fatally injured in a motorcycling accident in the camp. He swerved to avoid two boys riding their bikes.
In 1937 the Central Schools became the Armoured Fighting Vehicles School, with driving and maintenance training at Bovington and gunnery at Lulworth. The School became known as the Royal Armoured Corps Centre in 1947, now renamed The Armour Centre.
The Armour Centre is home to:
- HQ Royal Armoured Corps
- Armoured Fighting Vehicle Training Group
- HQ Royal Wessex Yeomanry
- Royal Marines Armoured Support Group
- Army School of Recruiting & Royal Navy Centre for Recruiting
- Defence Support Group
- Light Cavalry Band
Soldiers and Officers attend stage 2 training at the Armoured Fighting Vehicle Training Group following initial training and undertake courses in gunnery, signals, driving, vehicle maintenance and tactics. The centre also provides through career, and promotion, training for soldiers and officers. The group delivers course through three operating sections; Communications, Gunnery and Driving & Maintenance. The majority of this training is delivered at Bovington Camp with live gunnery activities taking place at nearby Lulworth Ranges.
- "Bovington Garrison & The Armour Centre: A History" (PDF). Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "The Tank Museum". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Armour Centre, Bovington". Retrieved 8 January 2015.
Media related to Bovington Camp at Wikimedia Commons