Test at Chemical Warfare Est

Discussion in 'General' started by katburns, Nov 20, 2023.

  1. katburns

    katburns Member

    Hi, My Grandad James Stephen Kindlen no. 7920093 1st Lothian & Border's Yeomanry dove the tank Colin Campbell. Finally got his war record and on his Statement of Services it says " Test undergone at Chemical Warfare Est on 10/4/43. Does anyone have any idea what that's all about?

    Attached Files:

  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    The use of chemical weapons was not ruled out in WW2, by the Germans or Japanese; so testing of equipment and soldiers would happen. I expect the actual location of the CW Establishment is missing; it is actually well-known to be Porton Down, near Salisbury.

    Have you searched online for any link between his unit and such a test or trials?

    For some context see: Chemical weapons and the United Kingdom - Wikipedia and Porton Down - Wikipedia
  3. katburns

    katburns Member

    Hi David,
    Thanks for your reply, Yes I did do a search but couldn't find a link. Just found this though elsewhere on this site "Fatal accident at Winterbourne Gunner
    Saturday 23rd October 1943

    Although gas had not been used so far in World War Two, the possibility of chemical warfare was still taken very seriously, both the enemy and the allies had stockpiles of various types of gas and all Services were continually trained in defence against gas.
    The Army School of Chemical Warfare (Winterbourne Wing), located in Winterbourne Gunner ran various courses in protection against chemical attack. One such course was for Non Commissioned Officers and NCOs and Course No 24 W was held in October 1943. On return to their regiments, those who had successfully completed the course they would become unit instructors in defence against chemical warfare." Could have been one of these courses maybe or another at Porton Down. His service record doesn't say where just that he was on it for 5 days.
  4. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  5. katburns

    katburns Member

    OK, thanks for that.
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    The US 4.2 mortar was called the chemical mortar. My dad was a squad leader. He told me that the only chemical they fired was White Phosphorus. Everything else was regular high explosive

    Chemical mortar battalion - Wikipedia

    Maybe your grandad's unit was given some type of familiarization training on what to do if they encountered White Phosphorus. Dad said it was terrible.

    White phosphorus munitions - Wikipedia
  7. katburns

    katburns Member

    Thanks, I've heard of white phosphorous Dave, does sound awful. I'm beginning to think the course was some kind of familiarisation training, don't think he was one of the germ warfare volunteers.
  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Mist over Dartmoor

    Sennybridge Artillery Range, Brecon Beacons May1942.

    On the evening of the second day we go into a night occupation on the ranges at Sennybridge.
    All that night we shall be at work on barrages and so on. Which will be fired at dawn.
    We shall be there for ten days, not firing the whole time but making pretty heavy weather with the whole gamut of targets that artillery has ever fired on including a gas shoot.

    That was the plan but no indication that the Gas Shoot took place due to adverse weather conditions.

    Mustn't forget Bari Italy 1944.
    Air raid on Bari - Wikipedia
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2023
    4jonboy and katburns like this.
  9. katburns

    katburns Member

    Thanks Uncle Target, could also have been something like that.

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