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Army 1959-onwards

By SPP Reporter

In 1959 the barracks was taken over by the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery. The Regiment was tasked with producing the future NCOs and Warrant Ofcers for the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The training included skill-at-arms, drill, eldcraft, rst aid, NBC, leadership, character training, map reading, education, physical training plus gunnery or signals.

The Regiment was divided into three Training Battery’s – 39 Roberts Bty, 44 Campbell Bty & 77 Wadrop Bty a Recruit Bty and a Headquarters Bty. Each of the training Battery’s consisted of four troops. Each of the training Battery’s and Troops carried the name of a famous Gunner of the past. Camaraderie is built up through the system of troops and battery’s and there was a great deal of healthy competition in all areas but especially sport. In the early 70’s there was an additional Battery brought into the Regiment, 2 Baker Bty – 44 Bty went into suspended animation and 33 Campbell Bty took its place, 77 Bty also went into suspended animation and was replaced by 40 Wadrop Bty. The Regiment was then made up of 2 Bty, 33 Bty, 39 Bty, 40 Bty, Recruits Bty & HQ Bty again each of the training Batteries comprised of four troops.

Up to the early seventies the Regiment gave training in all aspects of the needs of the Gunners. This included Surveyor RA, Technical Assistant RA and Command Post Assistant, Meteorology, Driving and Vehicle Maintenance and Clerical Training in addition to Gunnery and Signals. The early seventies saw the raising of the school leaving age to sixteen so the training period was reduced to one year (four terms to begin with). This meant that the more specialist trades which needed more time were removed from the training schedule and such training was concentrated at the adult stage at Larkhill – the Royal School of Artillery – on Salisbury Plain. Until the early seventies, junior leaders were recruited at 15 years of age and spent either six or seven terms at Bramcote. Gunnery and Signals training has continued to ensure that junior leaders left Bramcote with a trade. Clerical training continued at Bramcote until the early eighties, but the Artillery no longer had a clerical training wing – they were trained at Worthy Down along side other clerks from other arms.

The decision to restructure the Training Base of the British Army initially saw Bramcote as the home of one of the two Army Junior Leader Regiments.Under the new scheme of things the Regiment was to accommodate a Battery of Junior Gunners, a Junior Guards Company, a Junior Queens Company and a Junior Prince of Wales Company. Wheels were set in motion and the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Artillery had their last Goschen Pass Ofce Parade in July 1992. Sadly, in the interim, the decision to scrap Junior Intakes was made, and although a composite intake of Juniors occurred in 1992 they passed off in June 1993 under the title of JLR and with them the concept of Junior Leaders.

After some months of uncertainty it was decided the Gamecock Barracks would become the new home of 30th Signal Regiment. The Signals took over the camp in September 1993 and completed its move from Blandford by November, to begin another chapter in the colourful history of Gamecock Barracks.

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