Chadwell army camp

Is it true the once was a army camp on Chadwell fields not far from Thurrock tech college?

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  • I was a young lad living in the officer’s quarters at Orsett Camp in the early 50’s. My father was an officer in RASC Lt .Bill Connor. We were there until he was posted to Sennelager, Germany. I have a photo of myself and my sister sitting on a stone wall beside our quarters waving flags for Coronation Day! We went to school in Stanford-Le Hope. I remember playing on the ‘retired’ AA guns still in the camp area. Cheers. Brendan Connor. New Zealand.

    By Brendan Connor (15/02/2024)
  • My father – John Murphy, 57 Regiment HAA Royal Artillery, was based at Orsett Camp circa 1955 before heading off to Cyprus Op Pillar box.
    He spoke highly of his time there, as a 19 year old in his early days of National Service.

    By Matt Murphy (01/12/2023)
  • Hello everyone, I am looking to find out any information on The Royal Artillery Regiment that was based at Orset nr Gray’s,Essex during national service year’s of 1950/54 as I my father was based there for two year’s.His name was Cyril Moles

    By Malcolm Moles (11/11/2022)
  • Hi Angela,
    Re Ferdinand (Fred) Lenz.
    I knew your dad well. He used to come to my house for a few drinks with his wife (I think her first name was Christine and her second name was Jean).
    As Andy mentioned we all called him Fred.
    He said that this was his second marriage so I assume that your mum was Fred’s first wife.
    I was only aware of two daughters, Helen and Sylvia. In 1974 they were about primary school age so would probably be around late 50’s now
    I purchased 185 Dock Road around 1974, My neighbours were George Ridges (Hairdressers) at 183 and Fred (Ferdinand) was at 189.
    Fred later purchased 187 so he had the two end shops.
    When I was there in 1974 Fred was selling timber and mouldings. But under all the timber were the old stainless steel chip fryers. I remember helping him move them into No. 187 when he bought it.
    He never spoke about the war until he had had a few beers, and even then he didn’t say much. He realised that it was a sensitive subject. However he did say that he was a machine gunner and he was captured because his gun jammed. There was no mention of where this happened.

    By Cliff Cowin (18/03/2022)
  • I was at Orsett Camp as a member of 7AGRA(AA) signal squadron in 1955-57. The unit with 57 HAA went out too Cyprus for the Suez crisis , 57 were spread around around the airfields along with a Light AA Regt. Orsett was a c amp of WW2 wood huts with a large parade ground occupied by. the guns.

    By Patrick (17/03/2022)
  • I remember when it was a fish shop knew him as Fred and his wife Jean lovely people had a back room with a juke box where we would listen to all the new releases Fred had a coin collection which he showed us worth a few bob i bet also did a lovely fish and chip supper.

    By andy reynolds (16/03/2022)
  • Does any one remember the WW2 AA Gun site in the 60’s? In was Between Abbots Drive & Hassenbrock School and now has the New Road to Corriton. I lived at 77 Abbots Drive from the age of 1 – 12 before moving to Cornwall Crescent.

    By John Wigington (19/01/2022)
  • Hi Angela
    I remember the timber moulding shop in Tilbury my mate was talking about the shop a month or so ago I use to use it your dad was very helpful nothing was to much trouble we are talking about 35 ? Years ago but I don’t remember his fish and chip shop
    Mark richman

    By Mark Richman (21/11/2021)
  • Have been trying for years to find any information on my late father …I remember as a small child and being with my dad on Sundays , he used used to visit a place behind the Orsett Cock .. but never said where he was going as he used to say ‘stay in the car …
    But now I am sure it was this camp ?
    He was a German POW and was located in Thurrock but again never told me where this camp was ..
    Would anyone know /remember him his name was ;
    Ferdinand Lenz ..He had a fish and chip shop in Dock Road Tilbury , later to become Timber Mouldings ? Any info would be greatly appreciated..
    Angela Bonning-Lenz

    By Angela Bonning (06/11/2021)
  • Hi Mervyn my dad was a store man in the army not a salesman he said he had a good time in the royal artillery and shared many memories with me Mark richman

    By Mark Richman (06/10/2021)
  • Hi Mervyn my dad Raymond Richman was at Orsett camp. He was stationed there after returning from cyprus. He was a salesman in the royal artillery did you know him Mark Richman son

    By Mark Richman (05/10/2021)
  • I spent part of my National Service in Orsett camp 57 Regiment, 108 Battery, C troop, Royal Artillery from February 1957 to October 1958. Had lots of good friends, enjoyed every minute. Anybody else serve there at that time?

    By Mervyn Turner (29/09/2021)
  • My grandad sent a postcard home saying he was at Tilbury, Sept 21 1941.

    By Nicola hallard (16/01/2021)
  • My father was Royal Signals attached to 9/11 AA Brigade RA for the last 6 months of his national service, in 1952. HQ 9/11 AA Brigade was at Vange Camp, Basildon, which was on both sides of the A13 and where his Squadron was stationed.

    I believe Orsett Camp was the HQ of 7 AA Brigade as while I was working for BT, I found an old cable diagram in Grays Exchange which showed the telephone cables on the access road clearly marked as feeding Orsett Camp (7 AA Brigade).

    Both sites were part of the R.O.T.O.R. Air Defence System, as ground based air defence was still the responsibility of the Army’s Anti Aircraft Command and still used 3.7″ AA Guns. Both camps feel into disuse when missiles took the place of the guns, and GBAD was passed soley to the RAF in the early 60’s.

    By ns006m (21/12/2019)
  • Hi, I lived in the officer quarters of Orsett Camp in the 1950’s. My father was an officer in the RASC. I remember it quite well. I was about 7ish and went to school at Stanford le Hope. I recall anti-aircraft guns and great areas to play ‘war’ in. I remember an incident where a bomber flew over and dropped toilet rolls in retaliation for some barracks high jinx. A great memory.

    By Brendan Connor (14/09/2019)
  • I was stationed at 36 HAD RA. Shoeburyness in the 1970’s and lived in the army quarters in Chadwell St.Marys, are these houses still standing and what was the name of the street these houses were on ?

    By Peter Webster (01/05/2019)
  • Terry Fisher asks (above) can anyone remember Orsett Camp? My brother and I (well into our 70s) visited what was the camp today 25/10/18. We were there as children in the mid 50s. Our dad was in the RA. After the army camp it became a sand pit. Today it was not even that . There is no trace of the camp with TWO exceptions . The big red house at the camp entrance is still there and the 8ft high fence around the camp is there in places amongst bushes. Our side the camp the Orsett Cock pub and golf course are still there.

    By eddie johnson (25/10/2018)
  • Hi there was an Army Camp built on land behind the bungalows in Ridgeway in about the mid 1950s. I lived in Ridgeway with my parents Dave and Edie Clark until 1964.
    I think it was developed into houses in the 70s.

    By Neil Clark (14/06/2018)
  • The Orsett army camp was between the Orsett Cock Pub and the Golf Club. The Army houses on the opposite side of the Greyhound pub, were the married quarters of the soldiers.

    By Robert Shovlar (31/03/2018)
  • Near Grays about 3 miles away was a army camp called ORSETT CAMP on the corner of the road was a pub called ORSETT COCK I was doing national service year 1958/59. I suppose its all gone now. do anybody remember it??

    By Terry Fisher (27/12/2017)

    there was a large Army camp on the open spaces opposite the ‘Greyhound’ pub.  The anti-aircraft guns were part of the ‘Box Barrage’ which, combined with other units on both sides of the Thames, aimed to 3u762protect the docks and the flight path to London.  I recall that there were a number of military married quarters houses on the site for a few years after the war.

    By HARRY O'NEILL (05/10/2017)
  • By John Matthews (18/09/2017)
  • I have found the following Army Camps and Barracks listed in Thurrock which includes Chadwell.

    I can’t find its location. Perhaps you will find a map at the Essex Record Office next time Tilbury and Chadwell Memories do a visit.

    Belhus Park, Aveley WWI Volunteer/TF Annual Camp.

    Belhus Park, Aveley (S4) WWII D-Day Marshalling Area Camp S4.

    Chadwell St Mary & Tilbury (S2) WWII D-Day Marshalling Area Camp S2.

    Orsett Heath, (Golf Course) Grays (S1) WWII D-Day Marshalling Area Camp S1.

    Purfleet Musketry Camp (S3) (T6) WWII London District Machine-Gun Training School. D-Day Marshalling Area Camp S3 (also another camp called T6 with a capacity of 4,000 personnel 1,000 vehicles).

    Purfleet (E6) WWII D-Day Embarkation Area Camp E6.

    St Chads School, Tilbury? WWII D-Day Sector HQ and Embarkation Area (S & T) E5 HQ.

    Tilbury (S2) D-Day Marshalling Area Camp S2.

    Tilbury Docks (E5) WWII D-Day Embarkation Area E5.

    By Cliff Cowin (17/09/2017)
  • I’m afraid I don’t know, but perhaps another of the site’s readers may do. I believe there may have been some military facility on the heath near where the Greyhound pub was. I do know that there were anti-aircraft guns somewhere near there.

    By John Matthews (16/09/2017)

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