This site is dedicated to Gunner Mark 'Scouse' Taylor 1967 - 1987. AKA 'Tally'

This site is dedicated to Gunner Mark 'Scouse' Taylor 1967 - 1987. AKA 'Tally'
HQ Battery, 12th Air Defence Regiment, RA. A Fellow 'Wreckin' Crew' Member. Rest easy mucker. Photo courtesy of 'Shacks', his room mate.

Tell us what you know?

Hi all,

I have set this Blog up in order that we can share our memories and photos of our time in Napier Barracks. Whichever cap badge you had at the time, you all have a story to tell.

From the late 1940's until 1995, many regiments have passed through the gates of Napier Bks., albeit mainly Royal Artillery regiments and their supporting units. However, other units were present as Occupational Forces, including squadrons from the RAF Regt. and the Royal Scots Fusiliers post 1945; followed by the Royal Engineers in 1950.

Was you a member of one of the many Luftwaffe Squadrons, or an ancestor of anyone and has a tale to tell? 'Richthofen Kaserne' as the airfield with a new runway was known then. Did you serve in the famous Sturmstaffel 1 that was formed here in 1943?

Which artillery regiment did you serve with or attached unit? Did you serve with the 26th US Army Missile Detachment near the gate's entrance when two artillery regiments had Corporal nuclear missiles; or did you serve in the NAAFI, YMCA or WRVS? Come on, tell us what you know and share those photos you have.

Contact me: Tangerinenick@aol.com


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Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Tunnels!

I was fascinated by your site. I was very interested in the history of the Dortmund barracks when I was there, but information was hard to come by. The Internet has opened up all sorts of sources.

I was particuarly interested in the mention of the famous tunnels. I was involved in investigating these. It was probably 1979? The people involved apart from myself were, as far as I can remember:

Sgt John Barnes - Barney
Lt (or Capt?) Bob Delaney (BK T Bty?)
2Lt Greg Butt, Tp Comd in T Bty.

We did much exploring on the surface, and some digging, but did not come up with any evidence to suggest a tunnel between West Riding/Moore Barracks and Napier. The most interesting finds were when we explored the bunker which lay opposite the guardroom, by the gate of West Riding Barracks.

It seems to have been an air defence control bunker. The interior had been completely burned out and the floor of the main rooms were buried in debris, which explains why such interesting relics could be found so long after the end of the war.
Although the interior was completely burned out we found evidence of a ground glass plotting map with grids and even red and blue traces on them which rubbed off - perhaps the last raid?

We found chest microphones which were standard issue for auxiliaries in these types of bunkers, and spot projectors which would be directed on the ground glass screen to show friendly and enemy aircraft to the fighter controllers.
The only evidence of a tunnel was found shortly after the IRA bomb wrecked 26 Regt's RA Officers' Mess, which lay outside the camp. In the basement we found a walled up passage, which was probaby opposite the bunker? We were not of course allowed to break down walls, but we thought this would allow staff to reach it without coming to the surface? This tunnel would have been only 20 metres long.
There was a report in the BAOR newspaper (Sixth Sense) about our activities, and we were invited to Cologne for an interview on BFBS radio which Barney and myself attended.

We invited the old comrades association of Flak Regiment 4 to the barracks, and we had a really interesting day finding out what had changed since the late 30s (in fact very little). They couldn't tell us anything about the bunker, because it was not there when they left for France in 1940.

I have been told a scarcely believable story about this bunker. A couple of prisoners named 'Boddy' and 'Sole', escaped from the guardroom at West Riding Barracks and were never seen again (!).

Regards,
Paul Mitchell
(12 Lt AD Regt. RA, T Battery 1976-81: Troop Comander, I Troop, Command Post Officer (CPO) & Battery Captain (BK) & 22 AD Regt. RA, 53 Battery
1981-84 as BK & 11 Battery BK very briefly)