Ready for D-Day

Above: Attenborough Station in Bloom in the 1960s Photos © A.R. Dance

After the First World War the factory site was reused by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as a major military transport distribution hub. In WWII vehicles and tanks were modified for use by us, or our allies, in battle arenas like North Africa and Russia. Leading into D-Day military transport, including tanks, were shipped in from allied factories but especially the United States. As many as 5000 soldiers received, modified, stored and shipped the vehicles. They ensured all the vehicles were working, in the right place and ready to go for the practice manoeuvres and the start of the Battle of Normandy. There were so many vehicles and tanks a local satellite depot was opened at West Hallam. The depot also housed barracks to accommodate returning service people after the war.
The depot continued to operate as a general storage depot and a vehicle workshop. In 1995 the site was renamed Chetwynd Barracks, after
Viscount Chetwynd and became the home of armoured and infantry brigades and engineers who used the depot for their work and training. Thus, the station has continued to be a major transport interchange for thousands of military personnel travelling between the barracks, where there was service family housing, and their postings and homes elsewhere.
In late March 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that the site would be sold and, in November 2016 that the site would close in 2020s. However, plans are being developed with the help of the local community to develop the whole site, which will be close to the HS2 station at Toton, into an attractive mainly residential estate – hopefully bringing more potential rail users

References

The Chilwell Story Capt. M Haslam RAOC IS BN 0950809209

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/war-articles/normandy-buildup.html

Acknowledgements

Alan Dance

Supporting Documents

Gallery

Tyre maintenance at Chilwell