Armed forces and support personnel

The following results have been obtained from the Ministry of Defence (MOD), annual location statistics report for 1st April 2018. The report presents information on the stationed location of all UK regular service and civilian personnel by local authority area. 

Military forces in the Lancashire-12 area 

According to the Ministry of Defence figures, Chorley, Fylde and Preston districts are the only three authorities in the county where military forces are stationed permanently. The Preston Hive covers Weeton Barracks in Fylde, Fulwood Barracks in Preston and Warton in Fylde. In the July 2017 quarterly and April 2018 annual figures a total of 10 forces personnel are allocated to Chorley district, but none were shown for previous quarters. The latest figures also show that there were 10 military personnel in Lancaster at April 2017, something that we did not pick up previously. They are most likely based occasionally at Halton Training Camp.

The Lancashire-12 area, with 890 military forces staff, has 49.2% of the modest North West total of 1,810. The Lancashire-12 figure has remained fairly stable since the previous year, though there was a decrease of around 100 in the North West. There are no, or at least fewer than five, military forces staff located in each of the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool.

The North West headquarters of the 42nd Infantry Brigade is at Fulwood Barracks. Weeton Barracks in Fylde is the base of the 2nd Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. In November 2016 it was announced that Fulwood Barracks would close in 2022.

Table 1: UK military forces stationed in the Lancashire-14 area, 1st April 2018

  Chorley Fylde Preston Lancashire-12  North West
Officers 40 40 80 200
Other ranks --- 510 290 810 1,610
Total 10 550 330 890 1,810

Source: Ministry of Defence - Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. A dash (—) denotes zero or rounded to zero.

Ministry of Defence civilian personnel in the Lancashire-14 area

There is an important presence in of Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian personnel in Preston district, but Wyre (330) has the largest number of MOD civilian personnel in Lancashire. The number in Wyre has however declined over the past year by 20 from 350. The figure for the Lancashire-12 area has fallen marginally by 10, or less than this as the rounded totals for industrial and non-industrial civilians still sums to 500. The total of MOD civilian personnel for the North West has decreased marginally, by 10. There are no Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian personnel located in the two unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen or Blackpool. Please note that civilian staff are also included in the total for Civil Service Employees.

Table 2: Ministry of Defence civilian personnel stationed in the Lancashire-12 area, 1st April 2018

  Fylde Lancaster Preston Wyre Lancashire-12 North West
Non-industrials 40 10 100 330 480 1,470
Industrial  --- --- 20 --- 20 120
Trading Funds --- --- --- --- --- 80
Total 40 10 120 330 490 1,670

Source: Ministry of Defence - Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. A dash (—) denotes zero or rounded to zero.

The distinction between peacetime rôles of respective military and civilian personnel may become blurred, for instance at establishments such as Halton Training Camp.

Members of the armed forces and veterans resident in Lancashire   

A different measure of armed forced personnel numbers in the Lancashire area was provided by the 2011 census. The census table QS121EW has details of members of the armed forces as residents of households or communal establishments on census day (27 March 2011). The results show that the 14-authority Lancashire area had 2,214 residents that stated they were employed by the armed forces, which is just 1.4% of the total for England. The census also revealed that 2.8% of the total population of England was resident in the 14-authority Lancashire area therefore the results confirm the under-representation of armed forces personnel in Lancashire. 

The GOV.UK website includes veteran location statistics that detail armed forces pension and compensation recipients by local authority. In the year to 31st March 2018, the total number of individuals in receipt of either a pension or compensation under the Armed Forces Pension Scheme, War Pension Scheme or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme was 9,041 in the 14-authority Lancashire area.  Over a third of the Lancashire total (3,269) were resident in the neighbouring authorities of Wyre, Blackpool and Fylde.   

Local support for the armed forces   

The Royal British Legion has various branches throughout the county.

Lancashire is home to a central government Veterans UK site at Norcross, on the outskirts of Thornton Cleveleys.

The armed forces covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the state and the armed forces. Lancashire County Council announced in November 2013 that it had approved its armed forces covenant.

The county council has implemented a scheme to recruit local ex-service personnel to become part of the mentoring in schools programme.

A corporate covenant is a voluntary pledge from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for the armed forces community. The list includes a number of local and national organisations. These include British Aerospace and Rolls Royce that have an important presence in Lancashire as part of the local aerospace industry. United Utilities is also on the list and has a major presence in the Lancashire-14 area.

MOD defence training estate sites in the Lancashire-14 area

The land owned by the Ministry of Defence for the purpose of training the armed forces is known as the Defence Training Estate (DTE). The website has an information leaflet for the North West that mentions two sites that cover parts of Lancashire.  The Holcombe Moor Training Area is an all-year-round general purpose facility used by the Territorial Army, Cadets and the regular army. The main part of the site is outside the county, but the 303 hectares of freehold land include a section in Rossendale district. There are five public rights of way that cross the site, and it forms an integral part of the West Pennine Moors. Public access is of course restricted to periods when there is no live firing.

Halton Training Camp in Lancaster district is a 19 hectare site with barrack accommodation and a small wood running parallel along the north bank of the River Lune. It is all-year- round, general-purpose training camp with the emphasis on TA and Cadet training at weekends and mid-week as a base for regular army units undergoing adventurous training.

The negative impacts of military service

In total, 17% of male service personnel in the study had a criminal record. Whilst overall lifetime offending (all offences from theft to assault) in the military were said to be lower than in the general population, lifetime violent offending (ranging from threats of violence to serious physical assault or worse) was more common among military men (11% vs 8.7%).

In May 2014, a quick local assessment was made of detected offences records covering the 14-authority Lancashire area. For the 2013/14 financial year, less than 0.3% of all detected offences were committed by people who showed their employment status as being with the armed forces. It is however not possible to distinguish any detected offences by former members.

Museums, cemeteries and memorials

The King's Own Royal Regiment Museum is in central Lancaster, and tells the history of the Regiment from 1660s to the 1960s. Westfield Memorial Village is an example of a housing development that was completed after the First World War for service personnel. The estate is close to Lancaster railway station and is opposite the football ground. Over the years, some of the houses have been sold to the general public, but a number of ex-service personnel are still resident at the site.

The Lancashire Infantry Museum is located at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, and is said to be the largest regimental archive, and the premier centre for historical military research in Northern England. It is intended that the museum will remain open when the barracks itself closes in 2022.

The regimental charity of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border) provides welfare and benevolence support to serving and retired members. 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission cares for cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in 153 countries. The 'find a cemetery option' allows for sites to be searched by county in the UK. Choosing the Lancashire option generates a list of over 500 sites. The list covers the historic Lancashire region that is much larger than the 14-authority Lancashire area.

The War Memorials Trust is the charity that works for the protection and conservation of war memorials across the UK. The website has information on war memorials in parts of Lancashire. The site also has the search grants showcase facility, which is a database of grants for war memorial repair and conservation projects.  The search facility allows a list of grants to be viewed for the Lancashire area.  There is also the UK War Memorials website.

Victoria cross commemorative paving stones

In 2013, the government announced the proposal for commemorative paving stones to be laid in the birth places of Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War. The list includes 11 men born within the present local authority boundaries of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Chorley, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Preston and South Ribble. 

Other links

The North West Reserve Forces & Cadets Association promotes the Volunteer Reserve Forces of all three Armed Services through liaison with local authorities, employers, trade unions, the media and other influential groups.

Page updated February 2019