We research, care for and share the archives of the parish of Barton Stacey, Hampshire.
THE BEGINNINGS IN 1939
In October 1939 work began on a series of hutted camps in Barton Stacey parish, either side of what is now the A303.
Construction began a month after the start of the Second World War. The workmen came from all over the country. Some travelled daily in a special train , from Southampton on the Newbury line, and a special halt at Barton Stacey was constructed for the purpose.
The winter of 1939/40 was severe during the early part of the year. The ground was frozen to a depth of 18 inches and work on the construction of the camps virtually ceased as no mechanical equipment could be used.
The first troops to use the camps were the survivors from the evacuation from the beaches of Dunkirk. Tents were quickly erected to house them whilst others used huts already completed.
The original intention was that the camps should be used for Sappers as training areas and various units were transferred from other locations, the 11th Chemical Warfare Training Battalion occupying D Camp from August 1940.
Moody’s Down had a petrol warfare experimental section quartered there, with a mixed batch of old vehicles destined to be destroyed, and many a wreck littered the fields.
FIDO, the fog dispersing system, was tried out in a field at Cocum, not far from the road juntion with the A30 road, with a high framework of steel piping rising into the air.
Extracts from the Andover Weekend Advertiser 6 October 1989, article by George Brickell ‘Wartime stories of Barton Stacey Camp’.
Barton Stacey Halt