Worthy Down Barracks
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|Worthy Down Barracks|
|Located near South Wonston in Hampshire|
|Ministry of Defence|
|Controlled by||British Army|
Worthy Down Barracks is a British Army barracks near Winchester, Hampshire. It is the headquarters and depot of the Adjutant General's Corps and is part of the Winchester Garrison. The site is located between the villages of South Wonston and Kings Worthy.
The site was first used as a military establishment when the Royal Naval Air Service opened an airfield on the site of the Winchester Racecourse in October 1917 as the base of the Wireless and Observers School. With the founding of the Royal Air Force in April 1918 the site was handed over. The runways were grass and sited to the North-West of the current barracks area.
The site was recommissioned by the Royal Navy in 1939 as HMS Kestrel and used as a flying station by the Fleet Air Arm until 1942 when flying ceased due to the orientation of the runway. It was placed in a state of care and maintenance until 1952 when it was re-established as HMS Ariel and used as an engineering training school.
The site was then handed over the Royal Army Pay Corps in 1960 and became home to the Electronic Accounting Development Unit who housed their computer centre there, as a home for an IBM 705 system. The computer was used to process the 1961 UK census electronically for the first time.
With the merger of the RAPC into the AGC in 1992 the barracks became the headquarters of the AGC and training depot for members of the Staff and Personnel Support, Education and Training Services and Army Legal Service branches. In 2012 the RAF School of Administration moved to Worthy Down from Southwick Park, near Portsmouth, resulting in all three schools of the Defence School of Personnel Administration being co-located on one site.
The barracks was used by the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency to house the Joint Personnel Administration project team from 2002 until 2009. This building is now used by the Defence Food Services School (DFSS)
The camp was served by Worthy Down railway station to the East, on the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway opened in 1918 and closing finally in 1960. The route of the railway is combined into a running circuit around the camp.
The airfield area is now used as farmland.
An update was given at Deepcut on 6 December 2010 on the future planned move of HQ RLC & Defence Logistics School from Deepcut to Worthy Down (Project KESTREL) the date of 2013 was announced for early moves, with new buildings being built from April 2013 with 'ring-fenced' cash not affected by the 'Strategic Defence Review'.
By 2015 the training of Royal Navy Logs(Pers) personnel (Writers) will move to Worthy Down.
Royal Air Force School of Administration - May 2012 - present.
- A. B. Taylor (1962), Problems of the census of Scotland, 1961, Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries. Vol 27. p355.