1881 Census for Wellington Barracks and the the Militia Barracks
We think 1955 to 1957
We think the Sgt is Greenwood 2nd in in front rank Alan Bimpsom 1st guy front rank is one of the Tooth Family
half face 2nd in one of the Pollitts
National Service, 1959.
I was home from work as usual about 6pm, but
there was a strange atmosphere. 'there's a letter from 'On Her Majesty's
Service' My call up papers had arrived at long last.
We met in Bolton for a last pint as civilians at a pub just twenty yards from the 23 bus service to Bury. Looking at two years then it seemed a lifetime, looking back now at fifty years ago this year I wonder how it went so fast.
We arrived at Wellington Barracks somewhere
around mid day and were ushered to the canteen for a taste of army food
and our first taste of army life. It was also my first taste of meatballs
and string beans. I was gobsmacked to be served by a cousin of mine
serving with the Catering Corp.
Among our training groups were a few young
lads who were in between the two intakes, regulars who had signed on
then mixed in with us. They were quite valuable in that they had already
picked up a few 'wrinkles', bulling the pimples from our new boots,
how to blanco, polish brasses, square our beds, press BD's, in fact
all the basics, the best sergeants, the worst NCO's, we had apparently
the best sergeant, sergeant Bill Pritchard, under him we would have
the best platoon award. The three platoons would bring about a highly
competitive edge to our training, ideal for honing teamwork to a high
standard. Sergeant Pritchard was a confident man, although it maybe
inspiring to his wards he predicted we would be 'best platoon' and not
only that, we would also furnish the 'best recruit'. He was right on
As a footnote I might add that the summer of 1959 was one of the hottest and longest, for a period, water was only turned on for a few minutes in the morning and the same again in the evening, you had to be quick so as not to be on a charge for parading unshaven. Water carts were sent out to outlying districts, it was a very serious situation. Eventually those living within travelling distance were allowed home for the weekend to have a decent bath.
Tony Bowles, signals platoon 59/61.
Col. Mike Glover's
Importance of Wellington Barracks
North West Social and Industrial Heritage
Barracks in the UK up until 1840s
Barracks are an instrument of war. They are built to make better soldiers and more effective armies. Barracks are no less importance in warfare as leadership, doctrine, logistics or a strong economy. throughout the last 300 years barracks have conferred a clear military advantage on states which have them.
They first made their appearance as quarters
for elite guard units, such as the Roman Praetorian Guard, the Varangian
Guard of the Byzantine emperors or indeed, the Household Guard of
British sovereigns. Earliest to survive Foot Guards barrack at Hampton
From the 17th Century battlefield tactics underwent a revolution as the effects of gunpowder and industrialisation made their presence felt. Highly trained and disciplined became too valuable to be lost at the end of the campaigning season. Thus armies did not disband and became permanent or standing. They therefore needed somewhere to live.
These armies became too large for civilian society to sustain, through traditional means of scavenging, looting and free quartering. So the state was forced to provide permanent accommodation.
Evolution of Barracks.
Barracks in the British Isles are uneven in terms of architecture, planning and geography. But were driven by the need of the state to apply its policies at home and abroad and to protect itself against the policies of rival powers.
Role of Armed Forces
Britain has traditionally maintained forces for three principal roles:
These three have been the primary drivers in barrack building. Aldershot is a product of the Crimean War, the works around Plymouth, Portsmouth and Dover to prevent French invasion and construction in Ireland and Scotland focused on upholding the civil order.
Support to the Government was the main role of the army during peacetime. From the passing of the Riot Act in 1715 until the gradual extension of a civilian police force during the reign of Queen Victoria, troops continued to be used to control political and industrial unrest well into the 20th Century. Northern Ireland is a modern instance of this enduring role.
From the establishment of the standing army in the 17th Century and particularly after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, constitutional objectives were raised to the construction of barracks. It was thought that a standing army isolated within barracks posed a greater potential threat to parliamentary independence than one dispersed among the populace. Barracks were associated with the absolutist regimes of the Bourbons and Hapsburgs.
War Against the French
In the 1790s, civil unrest followed by national emergency swept away the old constitutional objectives. It was no longer possible to put up with the problem of billeting under the intense demands of national defence and a hasty campaign of barracks construction commenced. By the end of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the great majority of British troops at home lived in barracks.
By the middle of the 19th Century, objections were no longer directed against barracks themselves, but at the appalling conditions endured by their inhabitants. The debate over military accommodation was influenced by two broad views. The traditionalists who believed that the rank and file were irremediably bad and only controllable by violence. The reformers who hoped to raise morale tone by improving living conditions, education and religion.
A significant part of the Cardwell reform of the 1870s focussed on the issue of recruitment. The localisation scheme was introduced which moved the depot of the 20th Foot to Bury. An extensive and costly barracks construction programme was instituted which in part was intended to make life more appealing.
Move to Large Camps
The latter part of the 19th Century and the
withdrawal of the British Army from Ireland confirmed the development
of large camps such as Aldershot and Catterick. The demands of two
world wars proved that small local barracks could not support the
needs of 20th Century warfare and slowly but surely barracks like
Bury were closed down.
WHY BURY BARRACKS?
The end of hostilities with France in 1815 meant a return to pre war priorities of internal order and control. The policy of maintaining soldiers, in barracks, in areas where local magistrates felt threatened continued.
Outside London, new barracks were built during the period of the anti-Corn Law riots in the 1840s, the Reform Bill riots of the 1830s and Chartist agitation 1838 to 1848. In the first half of the 19th Century rapid industrialisation was causing social and political stress. Falling real wages, cyclical unemployment and bad harvests were exacerbated by local conditions. Particularly hard hit groups were those communities of hardworkers whose skills and livelihoods were rendered obsolete by mechanisation in the textile industry, such as East Lancashire.
The Napier Report
In 1840 a report was commissioned into the barrack situation in the northern textile towns. Major General Sir Charles Napier, the Commanding Officer in the Northern District was asked to assess the security situation in the Northern District.
Napier was a strong believer in the value of barracks to the army. In his report he commented:
"There is no better military school for officers and privates than a large garrison and in these times it is perhaps wise to keep soldiers together as much as possible".
19. His two principle concerns were to avoid dispersing his forces in small detachments when they would risk becoming isolated and destroyed in detail and to be able to move men sufficiently rapidly to arrive at a disturbance in time to be of use. In this his analysis included the use of the newly expanding railway system.
20. Accordingly he recommended abandoning small outposts in Haydock Lodge, Rochdale, Bolton, Wigan, Todmorden, Blackburn and Liverpool.
21. His central recommendation was that several large new barracks be built. Sites were chosen with a strategic view of communications in the whole area of the Pennines, for the first time taking into account the impact of the new railway system and its ability to quickly move large bodies of troops. In fact, the railways would largely influence the distribution of the Victorian army.
As the new barracks were to be built near a railway line, the towns initially selected were Bury, Ashton-under-Lyne, and Blackburn, but was replaced by Preston. The barracks at Bury and Ashton, were built between 1842 and 1845, each for two companies of infantry, 270 men and a 48 man troop of horse. Fulwood Barracks in Preston would house a battalion of infantry, two troops of cavalry and a troop of guns, over 1200 men. Barrack in Sheffield, Bristol and Wales followed.
Defence Against Civil Disorder
The construction of the barracks fell to the Royal Engineers who adopted a relatively consistent layout. For the first time the barracks were designed to be defensible against civil disorder. They were surrounded by a wall with corner bastions from which the garrison could fire on an attacking force.
24. The assumption was made that any attacking force would consist of an ill-organised crown with hand-made pikes, tools and a few firearms. Barracks were not designed to withstand artillery.
LIFE IN BARRACKS
The layout of the Napier Barracks centred on the parade ground with soldiers accommodation each side in cross-lit rooms on two floors separated by entrance passages with staircases. The officers' quarters and mess were across one end, with an administrative range with a tall, central archway through from the entrance.
An analysis of parliamentary returns for 1847 show how bad basic facilities in barracks were:
63% only had water pumped from a well;
WCs for officers only and were rare. Private soldiers used communal lavatories, sitting on ladder-like seats over cesspits. Open, wooden urine tubs stood in a corner of the barrack room for use at night.
Rooms were lit by oil lamps or candles, issued by the barrack masters according to the King's Warrants. Heating in winter was provided by open fireplaces and coal was issued on a warrant by the barrack master. The fireplaces in the barrack rooms were also used for heating food.
Reform minded officers sought to raise the character of the soldier by providing a better environment through sports and education. Regimental libraries started as an innovation by individual Commanding Officers. However, 60% of private soldiers were still illiterate by the end of the 19th Century. Regimental schools were established from 1846. In some barracks a fives court was included.
Completed in 1845, further work was started in 1872 and completed in 1880. During this phase the original defences largely disappeared. Later additional alterations included the gymnasium and in 1939 the hutted camp constructed to accommodate the Militiamen, the predecessors of the National Servicemen.
Move of the Depot
In 1873, the Depot of the XX moved from Exeter to Wellington Barracks. Devonshire had never produced sufficient recruits and following the practice of the time, the Regiment had when stationed in England moved about the country to find recruits. As a result of the Industrial Revolution and the growth of population in the North, the Regiment began to recruit in Lancashire. After particular success in Preston, in the winter of 1798-9, the XX began to rely on Lancashire more and more.
Boer War and the Great War
The Depot played its part in providing reinforcements for the War in South Africa, including volunteers from the volunteer battalions. Following the Boer War the Haldane Reforms witnessed the creation of the Territorial Force and an effective reserve for the Regular Army. Clothing and equipment was to be stored for reservists at Wellington and a block was built to hold these vital stores.
War was declared on the 4th August 1914. The next day 1,454 reservists reported to Wellington Barracks. By the 7th August 648 had been fully equipped and despatched to bring the 2nd Battalion up to establishment. The 2nd Battalion was serving in the UK as part of the 4th Division. It would form part of the original B.E.F. and distinguish itself at the Battle of le Cateau. They along with the rest of the original B.E.F. would adopt the nickname of the "Old Contemptibles".
Special Reserve Battalions
The following day the 3rd and 4th (Special Reserve) Battalions left for their war stations at strengths of 1,200 and 389 respectively. Thereafter, the Depot dealt with recruits for reserve battalions, up to November 1917, ex prisoners of war and men sent for rehabilitation following discharge from hospital, its strength varied from 200 to 900.
In addition parcels of food and clothing were collected and sent to prisoners of war and to hospitals. Also a great deal of welfare work was undertaken in connection with widows and families of soldiers killed in action. The cost of the First World War was 13,642 all ranks killed or dead of wounds or disease. The number of wounded will never be known.
Between the Wars
Following the First World War the Depot reverted to its peace-time role. The majority of recruits were then on engagements of 7 years with the Colours and 5 with the Reserve, spending some five months at the Depot before joining the battalion.
The Second World War
In July 1939, following the introduction of compulsory military training, the first Militiamen joined the service. This necessitated the expansion of accommodation and the building of the hutted camp.
Mobilization for the Second World War in September 1939 followed a similar pattern to 1914. Thereafter the Depot became an Infantry Training Centre (ITC) organised to train men for existing and newly formed battalions. This continued until September 1941, when the training of these men moved elsewhere. In order to safeguard regimental property and interests, a small caretaker party remained in Wellington Barracks, which were occupied from November of that year until early in 1946 by the Military College of Science.
In 1946 the Depot was organised as the 20th Primary Training Centre for the initial instruction of recruits of all arms, the further training of infantry recruits being carried out at an Infantry Training Centre. This system was replaced in April 1948 by the training of all recruits at central establishments and the Depot was reduced to a small cadre including the Regimental Headquarters and Museum.
Despite a brief resurgence in 1952 when the
Depot reopened for the training of National Servicemen. With the end
of National Service its days were numbered. It was declared surplus
to requirements in the 1960s, sold to the Council and by 1968 it had
been demolished, with only the QMs Block, Drill Shed and Lutyens Memorial
Major General Napiers map of the Northern
District, demonstrating the distribution of the military stations
in the area and the communication routes between them.
Click on the link below to see the history of the Bury Drill Hall
HISTORY OF CASTLE ARMOURY
In 1859, the 8th Lancashire (Bury) Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed, raising the problem of providing shelter and drilling facilities for the new unit. A new Drill Hall was proposed, funded for by public subscription and a former Bury Member of Parliament, Mr R N Philips, laid the foundation stone of the Drill Hall on a typically wet Bury day in August 1868.
The Drill Hall was built on the historical site of Bury Castle, a 13th century Keep owned by the powerful Pilkington family, Lords of the Manor of Bury. It incorporated some original castle material into its structure and a section of the original moat is preserved in front of the present building. In keeping with the 13th century architecture of the castle, the new Drill Hall was built in a fortified style. Castlellations, gargoyles, turrets, towers, arrow slits and other Norman architectural features contributed to the ancient-looking façade. In the 1880s with the advent of steam engines, a tram depot was built next to the Drill Hall using the same architectural features. This building, however, made way for a new Drill Hall extension in 1907.
The opening of the Drill Hall extension also marked one of Burys royal visits. HRH The Duke of Connaught, brother of King Edward VII officially opened the building on 23rd November 1907. A year earlier Colonel George Edward Wike, the Commanding Officer of the Bury Volunteer Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers (1900-1907), personally raised £7,500 for the new building extension and was given the privilege of laying the foundation stone on a bitterly cold autumn morning in October 1906. Subsequently Colonel Wike was made a Freeman of the Borough in 1911. The Drill Hall extension kept to the same style as the original building. A new main gate was built into the extension, consisting of a large semi-circular arch, decorative columns and timber portcullis, flanked by the building dates 1868 and 1907. Above the gate a large Coat of Arms is present, incorporating the Lancashire Fusiliers badge and motto Omnia Audax, translating to Dare Anything.
The Lancashire Fusiliers date from the landings of Prince William of Orange (later King William III) at Torbay in 1688, when he was met by a number of noblemen who were then commissioned to raise Regiments for his service against the deposed James II. Colonel Sir Robert Peyton, one of these, had served under the Prince in Holland and raised a Regiment of Foot containing six independent companies in the Exeter area. In 1782 the title was changed to the XX or East Devon Regiment of Foot and from the 1st July 1881 as XX The Lancashire Fusiliers. The historical link between Bury and the Fusiliers started during the latter part of the 18th and early part of the 19th century. The XX had been very successful in recruiting from the Lancashire area and a Regimental Depot was established at Wellington Barracks, Bury in 1881, following the renaming of the regiment. Wellington Barracks became XX The Lancashire Fusiliers Regimental Headquarters in 1961.
A Reserve Forces Corps of Lancashire Volunteers had already been firmly established at Castle Armoury since 1868, later becoming The Lancashire Fusiliers 5th Battalion (Volunteers). In 1968 The Lancashire Fusiliers became part of the newly formed Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
January 1943 was a terrible year in Castle Armourys long history. A member of the National Fire Service, Fireman Walter Sunderland (39) died tackling a ferocious fire at the site. An explosion rocked the building and threw Fireman Sunderland and several colleagues through the windows. He died of his injuries, while others were taken to the infirmary. Almost the entire building was destroyed, with hundreds of shop windows blown out along The Rock. The nearby church took full force of the blast with £1,000 of damage to its stained glass windows. While many other cities and towns had their centres destroyed by Nazi bombing raids, Burys was destroyed from within. It was not believed that arson was to blame for the tragic events, however evidence later suggested the fire originated in or near to the heating apparatus. The fire was discovered at approximately 6 am, the alarm being raised by a local railway worker. Firemen from Bury and the surrounding districts were rushed to the scene. They at once concentrated their efforts on preventing the fire spreading and tackled the flames from inside the building. The fatal explosion occurred at 7.30 am. An inquest was opened on Fireman Sunderlands death at the Coroners office, Colonel R.M. Barlow adjudicating. A verdict of accidental death was recorded. It is often said that the spirit of Fireman Sunderland haunts the Officers Mess, where the accident happened.
A severe labour shortage in 1951 caused serious delays to the Drill Hall extension and restoration after the fire. Work completion was expected for the end of 1951, but took a further six months to complete.
Three plaques adorn the East wall of the Drill Hall commemorating those who fell in two World Wars and the Boer War. The Lancashire Fusiliers has a proud history, winning many Victoria Crosses for its soldiers heroism, notably the six VCs before breakfast won at Gallipoli in 1915. 129 officers and men fell before successfully capturing the beachhead.
After the Labour Governments
Strategic Defence Review in 1998, the Fusiliers at Bury were merged
into the Lancastrian and Cumbrian Volunteers. For historical reasons
their name was preserved in the new title deeds, so a platoon of Fusiliers
still resides at Castle Armoury, proudly displaying a hackle with their
cap badge. Castle Armoury is also home to the Head quarters East Lancashire
Wing of the Air Training Corps and the Bury Detachment of the Manchester
Army Cadet Force. In addition G Squadron of 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital
(Volunteers), arrived as the lead unit in the summer of 1999. It is
envisaged that Castle Armoury will continue to provide suitable training
and social amenities for members of the Territorial Army and the cadet
organisations for many years to come.
sent in by Dave Rowland
Harry Rowland is 5th from the right front row he is davids dad
This photo was found by Steven Fitt
Comments from Maurice Taylor
Nice one of Minnie and Fusilier Albert Dwyer
The officer turning round is Lt Col Bowen, CO of 1LF. You might know there were twin Bowen brothers Charles and Hugh both in the Regiment pre war. I think eventually one commanded 1LF and the other 2LF but don't quote me on that it needs to be confirmed. I know they were both good sprinters and they ran for England in the 1936 Olympics in front of Hitler. Sadly in 1961 Hugh Bowen (Junior) joined me as a 2/Lt in Osnabruck fresh from Ampleforth and Sandhurst. The Catholic padre was going on a retreat to Lourdes and I asked Hugh would he like to go. En route to France with the Padre driving they had an accident and Hugh was killed outright, the Padre was knocked about, broke hips etc so a promising young officer had his life taken away....I think he was only 21 and had been with us for just a couple of months...I went to his funeral somewhere near Southampton with David Lloyd Jones. His mother was heart-broken.
The officer behind the CO is then Captain Jimmy Grover who was sometime Adjutant and later became our CO in Osnabruck. Jimmy Grover did not last long he died of a heart attack shortly after he handed over he must have been in his early forties I think Jim Wilson followed him? We were all hoping for a Lancastrian at the time, Jim Martlew, but the powers that be imported an outsider...shame.
The Pioneer Sgts I cannot place?
"1959 Visit to MINDEN Bicentenery and Nijmegen march."