Pre-OCTU Wrotham Camp

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The purpose built Pre-Officer Cadet Training Unit at Wrotham Camp was reputed to be at one stage the largest training establishments in the world with up to 10,000 cadets on site at one time. The first intake into Wrotham was in August 1942 and the camp continued training potential Officers until its closure was announced on 8 April 1946. ┬áThe purpose of the camp was to provide up to 8 weeks of military training to bring selected Officer Cadets to the same standard of training in a common military syllabus prior to attending a regular Officer Cadet Training Unit. The newly established 148 Training Brigade was established to run the punishing training programme which included drill, fitness, military law, first aid, map reading and other field skills from 0700 and 2200 daily. A dedicated ‘wing’ at Wrotham also trained the Officer Cadets in driving; with one week spent on 4-wheels, and the second on two, both on and off road, as well as vehicle maintenance. A total of 5 training wings focused on infantry skills (A, B, C), driving and maintenance (D) and artillery (E).

When the camp closed in 1946, the training wings A, B and D soon became homes for local refugees from the German bombing raids, while the remainder of the camp was demolished. The modern day village of Vigo sits on what was the infantry training wing, while Vigo Rugby Club occupies the driving and maintenance wing site.

Despite the short lived history and 70 years having passed, and much development, there remains a surprisingly complete footprint of the vast training site. Below are some of the photographs of the remains of Pre-OCTU Wrotham, the best preserved of which are at E wing to the east of the site just south of the White Horse Road.

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