Charles Sevright Way, NW7

Place Name

Charles Sevright (died 1820) was a former spy who spend 10 years as a Prisoner of War in Holland following his capture by the Dutch. In 1814, after his release, he became the Army Postmaster, in San Sebastian, Spain, ensuring lines of communication remained open for Wellington who was fighting against Napoleon’s forces across the Pyrenees during the Peninsula Wars. These extended lines affected the vital mail service and the postal operations were moved from Lisbon to the port of Pasajes (east of San Sebastian), where Sevright was the British Post Office Agent there. Sevright himself died in France after catching a short fever in the autumn of 1820 on his return to England for promotion. This road was laid out on the site of the former Mill Hill Barracks – later renamed the Inglis Barracks. When it was built in 1904 it had been as the base of the Regimental Depot for the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) after they had moved from Hounslow Barracks. This regiment included the former 57th (West Middlesex) Regiment of Foot – the so-called Die Hards – after the battle cry of the Lieutenant General Sir William Inglis, who had commanded them during the Peninsula War. The barracks ceased to be the home of the Middlesex Regiment when it merged with three other regiments to form the Queen’s Regiment at Howe Barracks in Canterbury in 1966. By this time the barracks was also being used as the Home Postal Depot, which was run by the Royal Engineers, who had established their Postal Training School there in the mid-1950s. The Postal Depot’s main sorting facility was established in an old munitions factory off Frith Lane and barrack buildings were given over to accommodate administration offices and sleeping quarters. The British Forces Post Office (the successors of the Home Postal Depot) left the site and moved to RAF Northolt in 2007. In the 1970s the road names within the barracks complex were named after figures within the Royal Engineers.

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