CVD Marchington in 1953
Written by Iain Duncan McGregor Lees
My father, Major Robert Duncan Lees, was the base commander from 1950 to 1953 when I was just two years old.
We lived at the nearby Moat Farm next to a wartime telephone exchange and kept pigs, chickens, geese and goats as there was still rationing in force.
There was an orchard and gooseberry bushes, victoria plums and apples.
This was, naturally, after WWII when he met my mother in Ostend Belgium whilst serving as a Captain in B.A.O.R
As a result I was born in the Hague Holland in 1948 under British law so that I would retain British citizenship.
After fighting In Korea for a year, he went out to Japan on the Empire Fowey troopship, whilst my mother and I lived in Edinburg. On his return he was posted to Hilsea Barracks Portsmouth.
In 1958 we all got posted to GHQ FARELF in Singapore and he later worked at 443 BAD (Base Ammunition Depot.) It took us three weeks to get to Singapore on the SS Nevasa via Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Port Said, Suez canal, Red Sea, Columbo, Staraits of Malacca and finally Singapore. We we were finally housed in maried quarters in Rochester Park next to the Royal Signals barraks.
Whe we arrived the temperature was 50°C and we thought that it would be impossible to live here.
Instant prickly heat and later denge fever and dysentry. we survived.
On our return in 1961 in a B.O.A.C. Brittania we landed at Gatwick which was just a grass airstrip at the time.
It took four days to fly back via Bombay (Mumbai) and Ankara where we had to await spare parts flown out by the RAF. A Military coup was in progress at the time.
So back to CVD Marchington and the first house on the right in Deepcut Road. I was 13 and we stayed there for two years until 1963 when my father retired and took up employment in the building industry as a manager.
Pity as the Army wanted him to progress to General Staff but I think we had all had enough of war and moving from one house to another.
My father passed away in 1990 aged 72 and my mother has passed away too at 96.
I look at the photographs of CVD Marchinton with some despair to see it all in such a terrible state.
Moat Farm burned to the ground at some stage and a new building was built.
Does anyone know anything about the underground facilities?
I believe that this was classified at one stage.
Iain Duncan McGregor Lees.