BAOR Comm Z - Antwerp/Emblem

As a callow youth I was a member of 11 Sig Bde, as it was then - 31, 33 and 35 Sig Regts (V). Every two years we would do a Continental Camp, Exercise Calm Fence. We had a NATO role, so would initially deploy to a staging camp in Belgium, and then to points south in the Eiffel. Places like Spangdahlem, Bitburg, Prüm, Spa etc. Until I actually went there, I'd no idea that there was a garrison in the Antwerp area. We used Olen camp as a staging camp one year, and availed ourselves of 60 Stn Wksps to replace the engine on a LR that my mate had blown up trying to race me to Harwich :) I digress...

I can't find much on the web about these locations. Emblem survived much longer than the others, and I went there a few times during my later regular service. It's the others that I'm looking for detail on. From what I've been able to find:

HQ Comm Z - Emblem
BVD Olen
60 Stn Wksps REME - Olen
BVD Tongerlo
Camp C Olen (I think this is where we staged)
Grobbendonk - now a Belgian Army camp
Ranst depot
Broechem depot
Vremde depot
Lier depot.

These are all within about 20 miles of each other along the A13/Albert Canal corridor. I've put together a KMZ with what I think are the locations. I also remember the old sweats talking of Blankenberge - did we have a camp there too? That's right on the coast close to Zeebrugge.

@LD17 @AlienFTM - any colour you can add?

(The forum software doesn't like .kmz files, so I've zipped the .kmz - kind of ridiculous, as a KMZ is a zipped file to begin with, but there we have it. Unzip and it should load into Google Earth)
 

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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I recall there was a big vehicle depot in Belgium, could be wrong. Antwerp was always infested with movers - quite a sought after posting.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Sorry. It means nothing to me. Ah Vienna.
 
I recall there was a big vehicle depot in Belgium, could be wrong. Antwerp was always infested with movers - quite a sought after posting.

CVD Antwerp as I recall. Full of RAOC vehicle specialists.

Used it a couple of times as a staging post for Exocet escort duties from France to one of the Belgie ports where the seagoing RCT took them off my hands.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
CVD Antwerp as I recall. Full of RAOC vehicle specialists.

Used it a couple of times as a staging post for Exocet escort duties from France to one of the Belgie ports where the seagoing RCT took them off my hands.
Probably HMAV St George....

1628867259651.png


Specialist ammunition vessel for the UK-Continent run.
 

no f in beer

War Hero
Grobbendonk rings bells - sadly not loud enough for me to remember why
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I recall that the first time I navigated the 7 or 8 lane A-Bahn that is the Antwerp ring road on my way to my first BAOR posting I almost wet myself....
 

LD17

MIA
As a callow youth I was a member of 11 Sig Bde, as it was then - 31, 33 and 35 Sig Regts (V). Every two years we would do a Continental Camp, Exercise Calm Fence. We had a NATO role, so would initially deploy to a staging camp in Belgium, and then to points south in the Eiffel. Places like Spangdahlem, Bitburg, Prüm, Spa etc. Until I actually went there, I'd no idea that there was a garrison in the Antwerp area. We used Olen camp as a staging camp one year, and availed ourselves of 60 Stn Wksps to replace the engine on a LR that my mate had blown up trying to race me to Harwich :) I digress...

I can't find much on the web about these locations. Emblem survived much longer than the others, and I went there a few times during my later regular service. It's the others that I'm looking for detail on. From what I've been able to find:

HQ Comm Z - Emblem
BVD Olen
60 Stn Wksps REME - Olen
BVD Tongerlo
Camp C Olen (I think this is where we staged)
Grobbendonk - now a Belgian Army camp
Ranst depot
Broechem depot
Vremde depot
Lier depot.

These are all within about 20 miles of each other along the A13/Albert Canal corridor. I've put together a KMZ with what I think are the locations. I also remember the old sweats talking of Blankenberge - did we have a camp there too? That's right on the coast close to Zeebrugge.

@LD17 @AlienFTM - any colour you can add?

(The forum software doesn't like .kmz files, so I've zipped the .kmz - kind of ridiculous, as a KMZ is a zipped file to begin with, but there we have it. Unzip and it should load into Google Earth)
@Roadster280
This is all I have at the moment
 
I recall that the first time I navigated the 7 or 8 lane A-Bahn that is the Antwerp ring road on my way to my first BAOR posting I almost wet myself....

Likewise.

.......and the Belgies helpfully left unmanned police cars dotted around everywhere just to keep you on your toes.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Likewise.

.......and the Belgies helpfully left unmanned police cars dotted around everywhere just to keep you on your toes.
It was mid ‘82, just after the Falklands and, although I’d learnt to drive on my Troopies Course I only bought a car (a black NATOCars Fiesta….) two years later. My first drive in it was from South Cerney to Duisburg and getting through Antwerp was a very formative motoring experience!
 
It was mid ‘82, just after the Falklands and, although I’d learnt to drive on my Troopies Course I only bought a car (a black NATOCars Fiesta….) two years later. My first drive in it was from South Cerney to Duisburg and getting through Antwerp was a very formative motoring experience!

South Cerney, know it well.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Sorry - just being pedantic. Awesome song.
I'd like to point out that in said video, Midge Ure is fact a cavalry walt iirc.
 

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