Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of The Royal Engineers Freedom of the City

2024 is also the 75th Anniversary of 21 Engineer Regiment who provide light role, close support engineering to the Adaptable Force.

It has three Squadrons based in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

On the 27th of July 1949, the Chief Royal Engineer, the Officers and other ranks of the Corps of the Royal Engineers were admitted into the Freedom of the City of Ripon.

First constituted as a corps in 1716, the unit gained its ‘Royal’ prefix in 1787 and has played a part in virtually every military conflict since. 

During the Second World War, new roles were added to the corps’s duties including bomb disposal, building Bailey Bridges and the use of tanks adapted for the battlefield known as AVREs, an example of which has been ‘knitted’ by our volunteers!

Ripon is proud to have been the home of 38 Engineer Regiment for almost half a century and is the current home of 21 Engineer Regiment.

21 Engineer Regiment was formed in Holzminden, Germany in 1949. After many years at various bases in Germany, 21 Engineers moved to Ripon in 2008.

Their role is to enable the Army to live, move and fight. 21 Engineer Regiment provides light role, close support to the adaptive force.

In recent years, this has seen a significant focus on support to UN peacekeeping operations. This has included deployments to Cyprus, Somalia and South Sudan.

In 2025, 21 Engineers will move from Claro Barracks to Marne Barracks in Catterick.

History of the Site

The site of Claro Barracks was originally established in 1915 and started out as a convalescent camp for Northern Command. At the start of the Second World War, part of the School of Military Engineering was relocated to the barracks and was named ‘Harper Barracks’. This marked the start of the Royal Engineers history in Ripon.

In 1941 it also became the home for The School of Bomb Disposal. During the 1950’s the barracks was the home of a Royal Signals training regiment and in 1959, the barracks became the home of 38 Engineer Regiment.

In the 1960’s, the barracks were renamed ‘Claro Barracks’ after a local beauty spot.

Plans are in place to preserve some of the buildings and history of the barracks. The Ripon Military Heritage Trust has been set up, for more details visit https://riponmht.org/


Click below to find out more about 21 Engineering Regiment: