Copthorne Barracks is a British Army military installation in Copthorne, a suburb of Shrewsbury in Shropshire. The barracks were built between 1877 and 1881 and initially included a hospital, married quarters, stabling and stores. Their creation took place as part of the Cardwell Reforms which encouraged the localisation of British military forces. The barracks became the depot for the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot and the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot. Following the Childers Reforms, the 53rd (Shropshire) Regiment of Foot amalgamated with the 85th Regiment of Foot (Bucks Volunteers) to form the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry with its depot in the barracks in 1881.
The barracks went on to become the regional centre for infantry training as the Light Infantry Brigade Depot in 1960. The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry museum was first established at Copthorne Barracks but moved to Shrewsbury Castle in 1985.
Copthorne Barracks was also the headquarters of the 5th Infantry Division from 1995 until the division was disbanded in 2012. It was also the administrative headquarters of the British Army’s regional 143 (West Midlands) Brigade until 11 Signal Brigade and 143 (West Midlands) Brigade amalgamated to form 11th Signal Brigade and Headquarters West Midlands in November 2014. Following the amalgamation, the staff moved to Venning Barracks at Donnington, Telford (11 Signal Brigade’s base).
The barracks also remains the home of two Army Reserve units, E Company, 6th Battalion The Rifles and 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital, whose drill halls are within its perimeter.
In November 2014, the Ministry of Defence declared the parts of the barracks left unused by the departure of the 143 Brigade surplus to requirements and officially put it up for sale. The exception is 0.193 hectares of land used by the Army Reserve Centre which will remain Ministry property.
Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine – and especially those journalists and news gatherers from the MSM who scour our pages for story ideas – we urge You to visit this page on Facebook where You will be able to find details of the Copthorne Barracks Campaign (also known as the St John’s Barracks Campaign). A Campaign to use the barracks as housing for British homeless veterans.
Homeless charities estimate there are about 7000 ex-servicemen and women living rough in Britain who are in desperate need of a roof over their head.
The Armed Forces Covenant and Community Covenant were introduced in 2012 as a contract stating Britain’s war heroes should take priority when it comes to affordable housing – all 407 local authorities signed up to it.
But they aren’t working.
Theresa May should be reminded of her own words to British veterans not so long ago:
“Those who have served deserve recognition for their sacrifice throughout their lives and we will continue to make sure that they get it.”
We urge You to get behind this worthy campaign and sign its petitions, retweet its tweets, donate funds to it and mention it to Your MP.
Our veterans deserve better than we are giving them. Saving these barracks for homeless veterans would be a step in the right direction and recognise the sacrifices of these valiant men and women -of these Brits.