Curry Rise, NW7

Place Name

GH Curry was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Royal Engineers at the Home Postal Depot, at the start of the Second World War. The depot’s main function was to sort and distribute all correspondence for Land and Air Forces overseas. In his book Postmen at War, Colonel ET Vallance explains that the barracks “was also the Recruiting and Training Centre for new intakes into the service, it provided reinforcements and postal stores for field units, and it was the Mobilisation Centre for postal units destined for the Expeditionary Forces. It was the Army Postal Service Record Office, and its Postal Accounting Centre. It was responsible too, for most of the general correspondence, casualty, returned letter and compensation work.” 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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