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The past

The word 'Saighton' is composed of the Old English elements 'salh' and 'tun' and translates as 'the settlement where willow grows'.

The site of the military camp was originally known by locals as Crown Fields, referring to the legend that Royalist soldiers camped in the area before joining battle with the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.

The war years

The more recent history of Saighton Camp can be traced back to the late 1930s when it was built as a military training camp in response to the threat of war across Europe.

At this time the village of Huntington, to the north of the site, did not exist. However the Rake and Pickel public house, situated at the end of Sandy Lane, is shown on early maps and is still in use today.

Initially built as a facility to train volunteers and conscripted soldiers during the Second World War, it was only intended to last until the end of the conflict. However, during the post war years it was found to be a useful training camp for the Medical Corps.

By 1947, the camp was almost at its largest and the village of Huntington was under construction. The officers' houses and married quarters were built in the late 1950s.

The post war years

The camp was the Army Medical Services TA training facility and was used during OPERATION GRANBY (The Coalition Campaign which led to the liberation of Kuwait in 1991) for the pre-deployment, preparation and training of all medical TA and reservist personnel.

The site was also used in 2004 for a 'dirty bomb' training session involving all three emergency services. The audience included representatives from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Home Office.

In March 2005 the site was acquired from the Ministry of Defence and so began another chapter in the chequered history of Saighton Camp.

Read more about the Saighton Camp site