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Thread: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    There were temporary military camps on Warley Common (OS map ref TQ 594915; http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.60....3&r=0&src=msa ) for many years in the 18th century, with troop numbers reaching as high as 7000 in 1778 (during the American War of Independence). The first permanent buildings were erected in 1805 as barracks for 2000 cavalry.

    The barracks were purchased by the East India Company in 1842 and extensive modifications were made at this time - the stables were converted to infantry quarters and the hospital was enlarged. A chapel was erected in 1857 to the designs of Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt. This building still stands, its campanile having been added in 1956 as a war memorial ( for further information on the chapel see http://www.royalanglianassociation.c...apel/index.htm )

    Three photos of the chapel:
    chapel1.jpg

    chapel2.jpg

    chapel3.jpg


    By 1860 the barracks were back in the government’s hands, and they played an important role in preparing and housing troops throughout the rest of the 19th century and both world wars.

    In 1890 Warley became part of the London Defence Scheme, with the construction of a mobilisation store, laboratory and magazine complex. These were to the north of the main barracks, and although all the buildings have since been removed, the earthworks that surrounded the magazines can still be seen. In 1904 a further store was added. A solitary gate pier just off Warley Hill may relate to this area of the barracks, with the apparent number nineteen actually being half of the construction year (the other two digits being on the other, now demolished pier).

    Barracks gate pier(?):
    gate_pier.JPG

    Two photos of the magazine earthworks:
    magazine_earthwork1.jpg

    magazine_earthwork2.jpg

    Despite his poor eyesight, Rudyard Kipling’s son John was trained as an officer cadet in the Irish Guards at Warley Barracks. His first day at Warley was 14th September 1914, and he was killed in France a little over a year later. There is now a Kipling Close in a housing estate nearby, presumably honouring the tragic association.

    After WWII the barracks were used as a training depot for national service recruits. They closed c.1960, remained empty for a few years and were then mostly demolished to make way for offices for the Ford Motor Company. The few remaining buildings are the chapel (see above); the neo-Georgian officers mess of 1939 (now the Marillac hospital), the 1878 depot officers’ mess (now Blenheim House, a TA centre and adjacent to the modern RLC 124 Petroleum Squadron building); the gymnasium (now Keys Hall, a community building); and some buildings now used as a council depot on the east side of The Drive.

    Ford building, on the site of the main barracks buildings:
    ford_building.jpg

    Gymnasium:
    gymnasium.jpg


    I have also heard it stated that the earthworks in Warley Gap (to the south of the barracks site) are practice trenches dug by soldiers. Certainly some of them look like they could be military trenches, but I also wonder if at least some could be from local gravel extraction, rather than military activity.
    Last edited by HF Dave; 13-12-2012 at 23:01. Reason: added photos

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    Officers Mess (1939):
    officers_mess.jpg

    Depot Officers Mess (1878):
    other_mess.jpg

    Site of 19th century outdoor swimming pool:
    swimming_pool.jpg

    Trenches at Warley Gap, which may be related to the barracks:
    trench_warley_gap.jpg
    Last edited by HF Dave; 13-12-2012 at 22:33.

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    depot1.jpg

    This building is now part of a council depot. It was probably built around the start of WWII. There had earlier been officers stables and a gymnasium (replaced by the one shown in the earlier post) in this area.
    Last edited by HF Dave; 13-12-2012 at 22:54.

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    Quote Originally Posted by HF Dave View Post

    This building is now part of a council depot. It was probably built around the start of WWII. There had earlier been officers stables and a gymnasium (replaced by the one shown in the earlier post) in this area.
    Searching around on the Internet, it seems that this building was a hangar for Bren Gun Carriers
    http://www.brentwoodreflections........-barracks.html
    Last edited by HF Dave; 15-12-2012 at 19:37.

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    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default 64 MSU Warley

    64MU, an Air Ammunition Park, opened at Ruislip very early in WWII. By November 1941 a satellite had opened at Woodside Place, Hatfield. (in late July 1942, Hatfield took over from Ruislip).

    On 6 June 1942 a second satellite was found at Warley Barracks, to supply SAA to Hornchurch, Bradwell Bay and Southend. It was called EAM Warley (EAM ?) and was a maintenance sub-unit.
    SD161 (Location of RAF Units) describes it later as an 'Air Ammunition Sub-park.

    The unit closed in March 1946.

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: 64 MSU Warley

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnaby View Post
    64MU, an Air Ammunition Park, opened at Ruislip very early in WWII. By November 1941 a satellite had opened at Woodside Place, Hatfield. (in late July 1942, Hatfield took over from Ruislip).

    On 6 June 1942 a second satellite was found at Warley Barracks, to supply SAA to Hornchurch, Bradwell Bay and Southend. It was called EAM Warley (EAM ?) and was a maintenance sub-unit.
    SD161 (Location of RAF Units) describes it later as an 'Air Ammunition Sub-park.

    The unit closed in March 1946.

    I wonder if this was the area to the east of the London Defence Scheme magazines ( http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=51.60....2&r=0&src=msa ) which is shown on 1950s OS maps as having 5 rectangular buildings / areas with earth traverses. There are football pitches there now.
    Last edited by HF Dave; 18-12-2012 at 20:23.

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    Senior Member HF Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    Quote Originally Posted by HF Dave View Post

    I have also heard it stated that the earthworks in Warley Gap (to the south of the barracks site) are practice trenches dug by soldiers. Certainly some of them look like they could be military trenches, but I also wonder if at least some could be from local gravel extraction, rather than military activity.
    From c.1865 (and perhaps earlier) to c.1890 this area was the officers cricket ground. The 1868 map shows gravel pits to the south of the cricket ground, so I'm guessing by the turn of the century they had started to extend further north and the cricket had to stop.

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    Junior Member Alec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    The Mob Store:

    Warley.jpg

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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    Hi, As you can tell, I am new to here, but would like to ask for some advice. My father found an old address book, and it contains information about the Warley Barracks, Brentwood, Essex including Record card number, rifle number and phone number on the first page. The book is full of addresses, but I'm unsure of the owner's name. It includes photos and a part of a letter. It was found in the Hemel Hempsted area. Could anybody direct me to where I could find more information I'd be very thankful. Thanks in advance, Sheridan

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    Default Re: Warley Barracks, nr. Brentwood, Essex

    Hi,

    Can I ask is the letter dated. If its to do with the First World War I would be interested to know its contents.

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