THE PLACE THE INTELLIGENCE CORPS CALLED HOME
THE Corps moved its headquarters into Templer Barracks in 1966 at a cost of £500,000, and from the first squad to Pass Out in September 1966 to the last in March 1997, it carried out a range of specialist military intelligence training for the Army. Through peacetime and conflicts including the Falklands and Iraq, Ashford was home for all its soldiers, wherever serving, and for over 30 years the Intelligence Corps was a tangible part of the fabric of life in the area with individual members active in community life and many civilian Ashford residents working at the Barracks. The Intelligence Corps was formally adopted by Ashford Urban District in 1973 for its “loyal and devoted service to Queen and Country” and granted the Freedom of Entry in 1979. Proof positive of the warmth and affection the people of Ashford hold for the Corps was the hundreds of residents who lined the streets when they celebrated the 25th anniversary of the granting of that Freedom of the Borough in 2004 and exercised their traditional right to march through town with bayonets fixed and drums playing. In addition to the ceremonial occasions, assistance was given by the Corps to the community, with gifts for the hospital children’s ward, to St Mary’s Parish Church, and most memorably in September 1973, with helping the area cope with the effects of flooding.