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A vital supply centre in northern France during WWl has had its name re-used and enshrined in the most famous of all Army towns. The   practice   of   naming   barracks   in   large   garrisons   after   famous   battles   dates   back   to   the   1890s.   During   the   1920s   and   1930s   when   Aldershot   district was   being   extended,   a   number   of   First   World   War   actions   were   commemorated   by   naming   new   barracks   in   Aldershot   and   Aborfield   after   them. These included Mons, Lille, Hazebrouck and Poperinghe. In   1939   a   militia   training   area,   previously   known   as   "The   Sands"   became   the   site   of   St   Omer   Barracks.   This   was   intended   to   be   the   new   Army   School of   Cookery   then   administered   by   the   Royal   Army   Service   Corps   and   previously   located   at   Mandora   Barracks   Aldershot.   St   Omer   takes   its   name   from a   French   town   lying   26   miles   south   east   of   Calais,   which   became   the   headquarters   of   the   British   Expeditionary   Force   from   October   1914   until November 1915. There   was   no   battle   of   St   Omer   in   the   First   World   War,   but   following   the   battle   of   the   Aisne   (2nd-15th   September   1914)   General   Sir   John   French,   the Commander   B.E.F.,   withdrew   the   British   Force   to   support   the   Northern   Flank   of   the   allies   and   all   formations   concentrated   around   St   Omer   prior   to moving east to form the main front line between Ypres-Le Bassee and Armentiers. St   Omer   continued   to   be   the   Army   HQ   until   the   end   of   1915   and   a   major   communications   and   supply   centre   throughout   World   War   I.   It   was   here   on 14th   November   1914   that   the   great   Field   Marshal,   Lord   Roberts   of   Kandahar   and   Waterford   (who   won   an   early   VC   in   the   Indian   Mutiny)   died   whilst visiting troops in the St Omer area. The   original   barracks   at   St   Omer,   pictured   above,   were   officially   opened   on   7th   March   1941   two   weeks   before   the   ACC   was   formed.   The   Corps trained   at   St   Omer   from   1941   until   1993,   when   the   Army   School   of   Catering   and   army   catering   came   under   the   control   of   The   Royal   Logistic   Corps. Cookery training continued at St Omer until 2006 when all army catering training was moved to the Cookery Training Wing at Worthy Down. The   1941   barracked   was   demolished   in   the   late   1960s   and   the   new   St   Omer   Barracks   was   officially   opened   by   the   Colonel-in-Chief,   Her Royal   Highness   the   Duchess   of   Kent   on   the   28th   October   1971.   The   two   picture   below   show   the   barracks   with   the   tower   block   which contained over 60 kitchen-classrooms, together with lecture rooms, a cinema, a demonstration theatre and two 500 seater dining rooms Under   the   Allenby/Connaught   Project,   St   Omer   and   the   tower   block   was   demolished   in   2007   and   the   area   was   redeveloped   to   create modern and flexible living and working environments for soldiers.
St Omer Barracks The home of the Army Catering Corps