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Craigiehall

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Craigiehall, 2010
Craigiehall
© Thomas Nugent

Craigiehall lies to the north-west of Edinburgh, and was Headquarters 2nd Division British Army until 2012, which had been resident there since April 2000, after a reorganisation of the Land Command following the 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR). The site includes Craigiehall House which was built in the early 18th century, and was once the headquarters of the Black Watch Regiment.

The Division comprised three Brigades:

  • 15 (North East) Brigade in York
  • 42 (North West) Brigade in Preston
  • 51 (Scottish) Brigade in Stirling
  • Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire

It provided the infrastructure and resources and the command and control responsibilities, for the training and administration of all Regular Army, Territorial Army and Cadet units in Scotland and the North of England.

Other Army establishments in 2nd Divisionís area of responsibility included:

  • Army Recruiting and Liaison Staff throughout the Division
  • The Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow
  • The Infantry Training Centre at Catterick
  • The Army Foundation College at Harrogate

Disbanded April 2012

As of April 02, 2012, the Craigiehall HQ was disbanded, per the following messages posted on the Army web site:

Headquarters 2 Div (Craigiehall, Edinburgh) has disbanded as of 2 April 2012 and its Regional Force brigades have been re-subordinated to HQ Support Command (Aldershot).

Headquarters Support Command is now the single 2 star command for providing direction to Regional Force HQs and units although some HQ Sp Comd tasks will continue to be delivered from Craigiehall until at least August 12.

Army HQ Scotland and 51 Scottish Brigade were established on 2 Apr 12 and are commanded by General Officer Commanding (GOC) Scotland.
- Headquarters 2 Div.[1]

History

The Armyís 2nd Division was formed in 1809 by Sir Arthur Wellesley, who was to become the Duke of Wellington.

During World War I, the Division deployed to France as part of Kitchenerís Contemptible Little Army, and spent over four years in the trenches, serving with distinction at the battles of Mons, Marne, the Somme, Ypres, and Cambrai.

As World War II began, the 2nd Division had to extricate itself through Dunkirk. As the threat of a German invasion receded, 2nd Division deployed to India in 1942, along with the Royal Scots, the Durham Light Infantry, the Lancashire Fusiliers, the Cameron Highlanders, and many more. The Division mounted its most famous engagement there, in 1944, during the Burma Campaign. At the battle of Kohima, it relieved the embattled garrison, and the battle marked the beginning of the end for the Japanese in Burma.

Since 1947, the 2nd Division has changed role a number of times. During the 1950s it amalgamated with the 6th Armoured Division in Germany, and in 1976 was re-roled as an armoured formation, The 2nd Armoured Division. The Division returned to the UK in 1982, after an absence of forty years. As 2nd Infantry Division it settled in York taking over the responsibility of the Armyís Eastern District in 1995. In 1998, the Strategic Defence Review led to a reorganisation of Land Command and the move of Headquarters 2nd Division to Craigiehall, northwest of Edinburgh, in April 2000.

lying ithin the site is Craigiehall House, set within a formally designed landscape laid out to the design of Sir William Bruce in 1699. A later walled garden dating from 1708 is credited to Alexander McGill. The house later served as the headquarters of the Black Watch Regiment, but was latterly used as the officers' mess.

AAOR Craigiehall

Within the grounds of Craigiehall lies the Craigiehall AAOR, an anti-aircraft operations room established during the Cold War, but latterly used as a magazine building with the headquarters.

References

1 Headquarters 2 Div Retrieved April 08, 2012.

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