The Association of Harrogate Apprentices, whose spiritual home is at Harrogate in England, exists to re-unite people in any way associated with the Army Apprentices School, Harrogate (AAS Harrogate) which was renamed the Army Apprentices College, Harrogate (AAC Harrogate) in 1965. This includes people such as ex Apprentice Tradesmen (A/Ts), Permanent Staff Members, ex NAAFI employees, Civilian Instructors etc. who served or worked on the establishment itself in such as the YMCA or Salvation Army canteens.
This Army site has been located in Penny Pot Lane, just outside Harrogate town, from before World War II until its closure in 1996. Originally built in 1939, mostly as wooden huts, the Uniacke Barracks of the site has since been reprieved and presently accommodates the young men and women who train at the Army Foundation College there. The site was re-opened in 2000 after substantial rebuild. The site is now established as being a flagship establishment of the British Army with some of the best training facilities in the world. The site is ran via a PFI contract.
The first British Military Unit known to occupy the site on Penny Pot Lane was the 9th Field Training Regiment, Royal Artillery. They apparently used to fire their guns on the moors near Blubberhouses. They were disbanded in 1943.
The next known use was by 116th General Hospital of the United States Army, from 28 July 1944 to 11 May 1945, for the purpose of clearing war casualties.
The Army Apprentices School was established there (probably in both Uniacke AND Hildebrande barracks) in 1947.
Uniacke barracks was named after Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Uniacke KCB KCMG, who was an Artillery Officer. He was born in 1866 & died in 1934.
Hildebrand barracks was named after Brigadier General Arthur Blois Ross Hildebrand CB CMG DSO. He was a Signals Officer who was born in 1870 & died in 1937. (Today's rank of Brigadier was actually titled Brigadier General in those times.)
There is a local legend as to how/why the name 'Penny Pot ' for the camp originally came about. The camp is sited upon Penny Pot Lane and folklore has it that in the First World War, when it was a tented camp, soldiers used to march westwards up the road out of camp to purchase ale at the local farm for "a penny a pot"!
The name 'Penny Pot' could be associated with the name of a house. In the 1700s-1800s there was a house on Penny Pot Lane called Penny Pot House and it was the home of the Burnell family of Fewston. Martin Burnell (1708-1776) died at Penny Pot House in Feb 1776. His older brother John Burnell (1705-1790) is noted as being the Lord Mayor of London in 1787-1788.
The book "ARMY APPRENTICES HARROGATE" by Colonel Cliff Walters late Royal Signals. (c) 2002. ISBN 1 84114 218 2
- The Association of Harrogate Apprentices, being ex Apprentices & others who served at the former Army Apprentices School/College, Harrogate
- 'ex Beachley Boys' of the former Army Apprentices College, Chepstow
- Arborfield Old Boys` Association of the former Army Apprentices College, Arborfield
- Hadrians Old Boys' Association of the former Army Apprentices College, Carlisle
- Beverley ex-Boys Association
- for those who served at the former Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Signals
- for those who served at the former All Arms Junior Leaders Regiment, Tonfanau
- Duke of York's Royal Military School Old Boys Association
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