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Armoured Division were stationed at Stackpole Court, developing highly secret assault techniques that would be tested about twelve months later on the beaches of Normandy. Te area around Stackpole came under a strict curfew for the duration of the summer until in the autumn the activities of the 79th Armoured division gave way to the training of units of the United States Army. For a while, until D-Day, the limestone courtyards and halls resounded to the sound of North American accents once again.


In the later summer of 1944, the curfew returned to Castlemartin amidst the most secret trials of both American and British Canal Defence Light (CDL) units, and Stackpole Court became headquarters for CDL regiments from both sides of the Atlantic. Canal Defence Light was a concept proposed earlier in the war to dazzle the enemy with very powerful, tank-mounted armoured carbon arc lights. It was envisaged that lines of such tanks would advance towards the enemy creating a wall of light behind which advancing troops would be invisible. Vast quantities of both money and expertise were expended on the project only to see it abandoned in the early autumn of 1944.


Stackpole Court was where the some of the last death throes of the project were played out, the curtain coming down when the 739th Medium Tank Battalion (Special) left the Court for a new base in Wiltshire.


Stackpole Court no longer stands, although the impressive site is clearly visible and several outbuildings, including the stable block, still remain.


Castlemartin Royal Armoured Corps Range (SR 984950): Established in the late 1930s, the tank range at one time included Broad Haven beach, Stackpole Warren, Stackpole Head, Barafundle Bay and Stackpole Park, but this was reduced after the war.


After the war, a 6,400 acre stretch of coastal plain was retained for the training of NATO troops. Tis was divided into ‘Range West’ and ‘Range East, with much of ‘Range East’ being within the Stackpole community, the boundary of which runs roughly from Torne to the coast at Bullslaughter Bay. Te main camp was located at Merrion and all other dispersed camps - including hutted camps at Trenorgan (SR 947960) and Buckspool (SR 963940) - were subsequently demolished, although the concrete bases of a few Nissen huts can still be seen at Trenorgan.


Ranges and Camp at Trenorgan (SR 947960): Te farmhouse at Trenorgan was used for accommodation for troops stationed at Castlemartin range throughout the war years, at one time being the residence of one of the range officers as well as being used as a mess for the camp that grew up in the fields to the north of the farmyard. When no longer required for accommodation, it was used to practice house-clearance tactics for troops learning the skills of Fighting in Built-Up areas. It has also reportedly been used in a similar way for the training of armed police officers. It has now been converted to provide bunkhouse type accommodation for troops using the range.


Concrete hut bases are all that remain of the camp that was built from 1942 onwards in the field to the north of the farm. At various times the camp was home for RE and Pioneers Corps companies, as well as British, Canadian and American armoured units. After the war the camp housed German prisoners of war and members of the Polish Resettlement Corps.


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