Sammy Arnold


Those that follow the self-taken photos thread will know that I spend a fair bit of time burning up miles across Dartmoor, which will be a familiar place to the old n' bold. I've recently done some "proper" exploration of Okehampton Range and got into finding out about the bits and bobs up there - the OPs, the field telephone points, the moving target railways, and so on. I recently came across an MoD-commissioned 2002 survey report on the condition and status of the range infrastructure, including the names of the principle range roads (actually tracks) - Circular Road, Rowtor Road, Yes Tor Road, Dinger Tor Road; all are obvious in their origin.

Then we come to Sammy Arnold's Road.

So, my question is...........just who the f**k was Sammy Arnold...??!!!! I'm guessing he must be some legendary squaddie of RA or Boer War notoriety but what did he do to get a track named after him and when? Who was he?

I'm guessing one of the O&B who served when such history lessons were part and parcel of range briefings may be able to shed some light...?



Okehampton, check. Road names check. Sammy Arnold’s Road or Lane connects Dinger Tor Road with the Circular Road apparently, and the name Sammy Arnold is in the Dartmoor Quiz Book, under Who Am I. The answer's in "180 Moor Questions". Seems he was a local character and peat-worker around Dinger Plain and Knack Mine/Steeperton Mine. It's claimed the road was named after him. Industrial peat cutting and charcoal activities lasted from the 1200’s to the early 1800’s and large areas of Dartmoor were stripped down to the bed rock. During the 19th century the peat in some parts of the moor was extracted on a commercial basis. Your man Sammy could have lived in one of the old tinners and peat-cutters huts but you'll have to confirm all this.

Amazon, Walking Dartmoor's Ancient Tracks: A Guide to 28 Routes Hardcover – 31 May 1997

Knack Mine (Steeperton Mine), Okehampton area (Northern Dartmoor), Devon, England, UK


Ah, right - so nothing to do with the military at all, then! I assumed he was some notable squaddie or other in the CSgt Bourne mould or somesuch - one of the (very) old and bold!

Either that or some hapless target setter that got clobbered by a WOMBAT round one day...

Every day's a school day!
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