Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow Closes After 228 Years

The historic walled enclave at Hounslow dates to the threats of the French invasion of England in 1793 but had been used by the British Army for generations before that– back to at least the days of Cromwell and James II. Florence Nightingale was reported to have arranged the hospital there. A young Winston Churchill passed through Hounslow several times in 1896 while a second lieutenant in the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

In WWII, Eastern Command was based there, reading for the invasion from Mr. Hitler, and, later, most of the replacements for Montgomery’s 21st Army Group cycled through the base on their way to the Continent.

The historic base, in the Southwest of Greater London, was long a favorite garrison for the Guards, used since the 1970s by the Grenadiers, Scots Guards, Welsh Guards, and Irish Guards– its last tenants– in succession.

1st Battalion Irish Guards special St Patrick’s Day Parade at their Barracks in Hounslow, 3.16.2017. MOD photo by Sgt. Rupert Frere.

Now, with the reforms and rebasing initiatives in the ever-shrinking British Forces, the flag has come down at Hounslow for the final time. Its buildings and grounds will be developed for their real estate potential.

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