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  #1  
Old 05-08-19, 05:51 AM
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Default Army Special Training Unit

I brought this small shoulder title at Farnham on Sunday from a well known dealer and member of this forum. It is white letters on a Green backing.
Army Special Training Unit - The information about this unit is that they trained Soldiers who were not A1 fit for service so were trained in trades that would be useful i.e. Bricklayers, etc
Can you give me any other information about this unit such as Locations, How they were badged, Was there a number of this type of unit etc, etc????
Any help would be welcome.
Thanks

Jerry
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Old 05-08-19, 09:13 AM
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Sounds like someone I worked with who was in the RE in the latter days of national service, and I only found when he argued that a regiment was about 15 men ss he was in xxx Regiment RE where all of them seemed to be of no use to the army for some or other reason, in his case he was unusually tall for the time being 6,5 but of an extremely slight build and stayed there for most of his time with them trying to increase his size.
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Old 05-08-19, 09:25 AM
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I'm not at home yet but I'm sure this is Army Selection and Training Unit but need to double check
Cheers
Sean
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Old 05-08-19, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapper533 View Post
I'm not at home yet but I'm sure this is Army Selection and Training Unit but need to double check
Cheers
Sean
I have heard of this Army Training & Selection Unit so it could be them?
Thanks for the info, Sean.

Jerry
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Old 05-08-19, 10:44 AM
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Brief mention of ASTU in an article published by Yorkshire Evening Post :

“By sheer coincidence, it turns out that Anthony’s father, Colonel Leslie Wieler, was the Commandant of the Army Selection Training Unit (ASTU) at Beckett Park."

Forgotten pieces of war history about Leeds unearthed
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Old 05-08-19, 11:25 AM
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From my book Badges on Battle Dress. PM me if interested in details and how to buya copy.

Jon

Army Special Training Units and the Army Selection Training Unit
Universal conscription brought into the Army many men, especially younger soldiers, who had difficulty adjusting to military discipline. In September 1941 Northern Command, with ten Young Soldier battalions stationed in its area, set up a Young Soldiers Training Camp at Pontefract to provide men under 19 a course of military training aimed at instilling in the more undisciplined young soldiers pride in themselves and their unit which it was hoped would prevent them embarking on a career of military crime. Such was its success that further camps were established at Lowestoft in Eastern Command and Redhill in Southern Command during 1942.

In September 1943 these camps became Special Training Units (STU) for ‘young men between 17½ and 21 years who commit offences which cause them to become a nuisance to their units’. Those with no record of serious delinquency and thought likely to be ‘redeemable’ after a period of ‘benevolent parental’ discipline went to No 3 STU; those with military or civilian criminal records ‘but of whose redemption there is still a reasonable prospect’ to No 2 STU, those with a record of military and civil delinquency ‘in whom the prospect of redemption is poor’ going to No1 STU. With numbers admitted falling rapidly after D Day No 3 STU was disbanded in late 1944, Nos 1 and 2 closing in August 1945 by which time some 4,000 men had passed through the Units. In July 1946 the Secretary of State for War, pleased with their success, announced that one unit would be retained in the post-war Army. Permanent staff at STUs wore arm badges with the unit numbers.

In a break with tradition in 1940 the Army authorised the transfer of soldiers between corps to enable men incorrectly allocated on enlistment, found unsuitable after a trial period or of a medical category unsuitable for the corps they had joined, to be posted to more suitable duties. By early 1943 it had become apparent that proper procedures were required for re-allocating serving soldiers who could not be properly employed within their present corps and four Army Selection Centres (ASC) were established which used intelligence and aptitude tests to help allocate men to appropriate duties. Soldiers who could not usefully be employed on combatant duties in their units – the illiterate, men of low medical category and older soldiers - were posted to the Army Selection Training Unit (ASTU) established in May 1943 at Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. Moving later to Beckett Park, Leeds the ASTU offered training in extra-regimental trades such as low-grade storemen, sanitary dutymen, gardeners, waiters, batmen and switchboard operators. ASTU staff wore the badge of the Army Special Training Units without a number. This was worn with the sign of 45th Division after it took over the ASC’s re-allocation work in November 1944 .
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Old 05-08-19, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postwarden View Post
Army Selection Training Unit (ASTU) established in May 1943 at Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. Moving later to Beckett Park, Leeds
Excellent information , Colonel Leslie Frederick Ethelbert Wieler (who is mentioned in earlier post) was Commandant of Army Selection Training Units from 1943-1944 before becoming Acting Brigadier and Inspector of Physical Training, War Office (05/10/1944).
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Last edited by mike_vee; 05-08-19 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-08-19, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postwarden View Post
From my book Badges on Battle Dress. PM me if interested in details and how to buya copy.

Jon

Army Special Training Units and the Army Selection Training Unit
Universal conscription brought into the Army many men, especially younger soldiers, who had difficulty adjusting to military discipline. In September 1941 Northern Command, with ten Young Soldier battalions stationed in its area, set up a Young Soldiers Training Camp at Pontefract to provide men under 19 a course of military training aimed at instilling in the more undisciplined young soldiers pride in themselves and their unit which it was hoped would prevent them embarking on a career of military crime. Such was its success that further camps were established at Lowestoft in Eastern Command and Redhill in Southern Command during 1942.

In September 1943 these camps became Special Training Units (STU) for ‘young men between 17½ and 21 years who commit offences which cause them to become a nuisance to their units’. Those with no record of serious delinquency and thought likely to be ‘redeemable’ after a period of ‘benevolent parental’ discipline went to No 3 STU; those with military or civilian criminal records ‘but of whose redemption there is still a reasonable prospect’ to No 2 STU, those with a record of military and civil delinquency ‘in whom the prospect of redemption is poor’ going to No1 STU. With numbers admitted falling rapidly after D Day No 3 STU was disbanded in late 1944, Nos 1 and 2 closing in August 1945 by which time some 4,000 men had passed through the Units. In July 1946 the Secretary of State for War, pleased with their success, announced that one unit would be retained in the post-war Army. Permanent staff at STUs wore arm badges with the unit numbers.

In a break with tradition in 1940 the Army authorised the transfer of soldiers between corps to enable men incorrectly allocated on enlistment, found unsuitable after a trial period or of a medical category unsuitable for the corps they had joined, to be posted to more suitable duties. By early 1943 it had become apparent that proper procedures were required for re-allocating serving soldiers who could not be properly employed within their present corps and four Army Selection Centres (ASC) were established which used intelligence and aptitude tests to help allocate men to appropriate duties. Soldiers who could not usefully be employed on combatant duties in their units – the illiterate, men of low medical category and older soldiers - were posted to the Army Selection Training Unit (ASTU) established in May 1943 at Nettlebed, Oxfordshire. Moving later to Beckett Park, Leeds the ASTU offered training in extra-regimental trades such as low-grade storemen, sanitary dutymen, gardeners, waiters, batmen and switchboard operators. ASTU staff wore the badge of the Army Special Training Units without a number. This was worn with the sign of 45th Division after it took over the ASC’s re-allocation work in November 1944 .
Jon, thanks for such a detailed account of this unit. I think I was partly right.

Jerry
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