What is so fulfilling about running this blog is not so much the information we “export” but the information we “import”, through enquiries to this website and also to our facebook page. Items of history about our town and people, of which most of us were unaware, have been shared with us from as far afield as South Africa, Italy, France, Australia, and Canada.
Our most recent correspondence has come from the Ukraine and has revealed what to many readers will be forgotten history. Taras Hrytsevych, a military psychologist and senior teacher in the Army Academy in Lviv, Ukraine, has written to us enquiring about the Military College of Science* which was located in Rhyl during the Second World War. At the outbreak of the war the College was based in Woolwich, but after a brief move to Lydd in Kent it became necessary to split the college into three parts. “A Fire Control Instruments School was established in Bury in Lancashire and an Artillery Equipments School at Stoke on Trent. The M.T. section -and who can blame them – chose Rhyl as their home.” (A Short History of the Royal Military College of Science, 1864-1964 by C.B. Daish) M.T. here stands for Mechanical Traction.
A Rhyl resident we have spoken to can remember the Military College in Rhyl, he has told us that they occupied garages in town – the Westcliffe Garage which stood on the corner of Butterton Road and Wellington Road, the Grosvenor Garage which stood on the corner of Westbourne Avenue and Wood Road and a garage on Vale Road (approx. opposite A.T.S.)
Taras is researching Norman Copeland O.B.E. who, whilst in Rhyl with the Military College of Science, wrote the respected book “Psychology and the Soldier : the Art of Leadership”. Taras says “I am keen in military psychology and one of my favorite books in the field is “Psychology and the Soldier” written by British military chaplain Norman Copeland. The book was initially published in 1942 in the US and then in 1944 in the UK. Afterwards it was several times reissued, among them twice – in former Soviet Union, in 1958 and 1991″
Norman Copeland received correspondence whilst he was here in Rhyl to 55, West Parade. Was this part of the College itself, perhaps the administrative HQ? Or was it the accommodation for those at the College? During WW2 many of the buildings on West Parade were requisitioned by the Army. 55, West Parade is no longer there, it is part of a block that has recently been demolished. If anyone has any information about 55, West Parade or even better, any photographs, could you please comment below or contact us via e-mail? (firstname.lastname@example.org) Also, if anyone has any other memories or information about the Military College of Science in Rhyl, could they please contact us. Thank you.
* Towards the end 0f 1941 the branch of the Military College of Science in Rhyl was renamed (reorganised) the Royal Artillery Mechanical Traction School (commonly abbreviated to R.A.M.T. School). Early in 1945 the R.A.M.T.S. was moved from Rhyl to Bordon in Hampshire, thus the time frame of the M.C.of S./R.A.M.T.S. being located in Rhyl is 1940-1945. After D-Day (June 6th, 1944) the School abandoned requisitioned buildings in Rhyl and moved to “a neighbouring hutted camp”.