HMS Royal Arthur

Were you to arrive at the Butlins holiday camp at Skegness in 1939 you would be greeted by a sign saying 'OUR TRUE INTENT IS ALL FOR YOUR DELIGHT', however you might not beleive it after a few hours on the drill square. This is because on September 22nd 1939 the camp was taken over by the Royal Navy to become HMS Royal Arthur.

To begin with it was used for the initial training of new sailors, then from February 1944 it became the central reception depot for new naval entries after HMSRaleigh was transferred to the Army. They learned to swim and row in the camp's swimming pools. They messed in its dinning rooms, and they slept in the chalets. It operated throughout the war during which time the German propoganda broadcasts claimed to have sunk it, twice, and was paid off in 1946.

The name was transfered to a new training establishment in Corsham in Wiltshire on 2 January 1947. The name was then transferred to the recently paid off Camp Kingsmoor on 16 March 1950 when it ceased to be used for training National Service inductees and concentrated on leadership training of Petty Officers. It continued in service here until the last trainees left on December 11th 1992, and was finally closed completely on 5 March 1993.


HMSRoyalArthur (last edited 2012-06-25 16:42:34 by chrisbunker)