Local History Society

 Memories: Arborfield Apprentices' School


Poperinghe Barracks from the air in 1946

Hazebrouck Barracks from the air in 1946

Old Boys'



A Review of the web-site ‘Arborfield & The September 49ers’

The '49ers' web-site is very much devoted to the experiences and memories of those who had passed through the main gates of the Arborfield Army Technical School (Boys) on the old Eversley Road from 1939 onwards (it became the 'Arborfield Apprentices' School' (AAS) in 1946), but it also has much to offer those who live on the outside. This review concentrates on items that might interest a civilian Arborfield villager.

The web-site was inaugurated on 1st April 2001 by George Millie (49B), who managed it until 1st December 2006, when Trevor Stubberfield (52A) took over.

What was life like in the School? We can see a brief Pathé recruiting film on apprentice life, and Trevor has contributed an old Prospectus, shown on the site in ‘glorious Gestettner’, but with a much more easy-to-read transcription.

Read the ‘History of the Army Technical Foundation College’, which is a brief historical survey covering the period 1939 – 1992 by Capt. (Retd.) D.B. Richards Dip. Ed. Tech., with additional material by Major M.V. Costanzo R.E.M.E.

There are some early issues of the Arborfield Army Technical School (Boys)’  School Magazine, known as ‘The Arborfield Apprentice’, for 1944 to 1946, which show the gradual transition from war to peacetime.

There is a description of life in the Army Apprentices’ School from 1949 to 1954, which contains a map of the site and its relation to Eversley Road (now Sheerlands Road), plus several photos.

The article on AAS Arborfield post-1954 has a more recent map, plus aerial photos old and new. A fairly recent colour photo shows Sheerlands Road in the lower right-hand corner.

Ron Marks’ photographic record of Army Apprentices’ School, Arborfield also contains a map of the site, plus a wealth of photos.

In the section on troop-ships and trooping flights, Trevor Stubberfield describes in colourful detail his trooping flight in an old ‘Viking’ airliner from nearby Blackbushe Airport to Tripoli in 1956 - and his return to Gatwick in 1959 in a much more modern ‘Viscount’.

Enjoy the whole site by clicking here.

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