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LANGELEBEN - THE LATER YEARS

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Over the years, the independent squadron at Langeleben had grown into one of the happiest and most efficient in BAOR. Social changes had come since the end of National Service, bringing with them a new type of affluent educated regular soldier to Langy, a thorough professional at his job, for which he was suitably rewarded. Through being so isolated the camp acquired many assets to keep the lads happy, which many other larger units would have been envious of, including the swimming pool - a great favourite on hot summer afternoons, the camp cinema - installed in block 7, complete with pop-up seats, open early on Friday evenings, to allow the customers to catch the Rec truck into town, although the NAAFI bar was still a firm favourite with the lads. The Sgts' Mess turned an old transit accommodation room into a welcome permanent bar. The hollow square in the centre of the combined mess was covered over and turned into a function/dining room for use by both Officers or Sergeants.

The scientific world outside had also undergone many changes since the 1950s. Advances in electronic technology had accelerated during the 1960s and early 1970s so that by this time the modern battlefield was saturated with electronic devices for command, control and surveillance. To keep pace with these developments and remain masters of the electronic spectrum, the Army's tactical Electronic Warfare (EW) assets were reorganized. Sadly, as part of this process, the much loved 225 Signal Squadron disappeared.

On 1 July 1977, 14 Signal Regiment (EW) formed up from a mixture of old and new entities. The Regiment took under command the hitherto independently operating EW units, 225 Signal Squadron at Langeleben, 226 Signal Squadron at Wesendorf and E troop, 30 Signal Regiment from Blandford, together with new command, operational and intelligence staffs, communications, administrative and logistic support elements, with the mission to provide the Commander, 1st British Corps with EW support.

Regimental Headquarters, Headquarters Squadron and 3 Squadron were initially based at Tofrek Barracks, Hildesheim. HQ Squadron contained the Regimental Command Posts and the administrative and logistic back-up. 3 Squadron provided communications for the new Regiment, which could, and did, deploy throughout and outside the 1 (BR) Corps area.

The distances from the HQ to the two forward squadrons led to the need for bases somewhat closer together, and in 1978, the Regiment found temporary accommodation in a former ordnance depot in Scheuen, north of Celle. This barracks was in such a dilapidated condition that almost immediately the search was instigated for a more fitting home for the Regiment. The search was to take seven years.

In early 1985 the Regiment's search for a new home ended, when 94 Locating Regiment RA vacated Taunton Barracks in Celle. Previous attempts to find a barracks had come to nothing, including plans to build a new camp in Königslutter, or take over a German barracks in Braunschweig. Taunton Barracks is a massive edifice dating from 1870 and contains the largest brick building in North Germany. The sheer size of the place gave the CO the opportunity to have all his sub-units under one roof for the first time since the Regiment was formed. Unfortunately this meant that 1 Squadron was obliged to leave its Langeleben home and make the fifty-mile move to Celle in March 1985. A small permanent staff was retained at Langeleben under command of a Royal Signals WO1 to administer the remaining civil labour and oversee operations.

 

Last updated 01 August 2015

 
 
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