Staff College, Camberley
, was a staff college
for the British Army
and the presidency armies
of British India
(later merged to form the Indian Army
). It had its origins in the Royal Military College, High Wycombe
founded in 1799, which in 1802 became the Senior Department of the new Royal Military College
. In 1858 the name of the Senior Department was changed to "Staff College", and in 1870 this was separated from the Royal Military College. Apart from periods of closure during major wars, the Staff College continued to operate until 1997, when it was merged into the new Joint Services Command and Staff College
. The equivalent in the Royal Navy
was the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich
and the equivalent in the Royal Air Force
was the RAF Staff College, Bracknell
Old print of the College
In 1799, Colonel John Le Marchant
submitted a proposal to the Duke of York
, the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces
, for a Royal Military College. A private officer training school, based on the idea of a senior or staff department in the proposed college, was opened in the same year by Colonel Le Marchant, at the Antelope Inn, High Wycombe
, and designated the Royal Military College, High Wycombe
, with himself as commandant
. This facility was officially recognised by royal warrant
in 1801 as the senior department of the Royal Military College
which was to open at a large house
in 1802 in Great Marlow
Le Marchant was now appointed as Lieutenant-Governor and Superintendent-General of the College.
The course lasted for two years and in 1808 was specifically stated as intended to train future commanding officers and staff officers. Until 1858, students were required to pay to attend. The senior department of the Royal Military College moved to a building in West Street in Farnham
in 1813 and in 1820 joined the junior department (which trained aspiring officers before they were commissioned) at Sandhurst
Decline, independence and growth The college underwent a decline and by 1857 the annual admissions had fallen to just six.
In 1858 the name was changed to "the Staff College" and it was made independent of the Royal Military College in 1870.
It now had its own commandant
, although continued to be administered by Sandhurst until 1911. Proper entry and final examinations had been introduced for the primarily military subjects taught. Purpose-built premises were approved in 1858 and built between 1859 and 1863 to a design by James Pennethorne
, adjacent to the Royal Military College (but over the county boundary in Camberley
During the 1870s there were just forty students although numbers increased to sixty students in the 1880s.
In 1903 officers of the colonial forces were allowed to join the college, and in 1905 naval officers were introduced.
With the threat of a second war with Germany, the college was expanded and restructured in 1938, with a junior wing at Camberley
for officers of an average age of 29 years, and a senior wing at Minley Manor
for graduates of the school returned for further training, and aged about 35 years.
The buildings were retained by the Ministry of Defence,
and are used by a number of occupants, including the following:
Commandant, Staff College, Sandhurst
Commandants since the College gained its independence in 1870 have been:
Commandant, Staff College, Camberley
Note the college was closed during the War
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Last edited on 25 March 2021, at 12:15
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