Unit History: Group Signals

Group Signals
When 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade Signal Squadron changed its title to 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group Signal Squadron it continued to be commanded by Major Proudman. The Squadron remained in Schleswig until September 1948 when it moved with the remainder of the Brigade south to the Hannover area of Germany. The Squadron moved into a Transit Camp and London Barracks in Hannover.
In October, Major R C Pringle took over command of the unit from Major Proudman who returned to England.
As part of a post war review of the Army’s commitments, it was decided to free the one remaining parachute formation from static occupation duties in Germany and reposition it in UK as a strategic reserve. The Squadron with the rest of the Brigade moved by rail and ferry, via the Hook and Harwich, back to England in December 1949 to its new home at Lille Barracks, North Camp, Aldershot. Aldershot had been the home for generations of British soldiers but this move was the first time that airborne signals had taken up residence in the ’Camp’. The ’Camp’ at Aldershot, divided into North and South Camps, was originally established in the early 1850’s and consisted of row upon row of wooden accommodation huts. By 1890 the wooden huts began to be replaced by brick buildings. Lille Barracks were part of Aldershot from the beginning of its association with the Army. The Squadron settled down to its new strategic role in England. A considerable amount of training was undertaken and new equipment was taken into the Unit. I t was during this period that the airborne jeep was replaced by the ’Champ’. Major J Smith took over command in March 1951 from Major Pringle.
The routine of peacetime soldiering did not last very long. In May 1951, 16th Independent Parachute Brigade Group was ordered to prepare itself for deployment overseas. This preparation was in response to the nationalization of the oilfields in Iran and the possible threat to British nationals in that country.

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