A CHAPTER in the long military history of Tedworth House came to a close last week as the members of the Garrison Officers’ Mess had a final lunch before the mess closes to become a personnel recovery centre.

The lunch was attended by the GOC of 3rd Division, Major General Everard, the commanders of 1, 12 and 43 (Wessex) Brigade and the Garrison Commander, Colonel Paddy Tabour. Tedworth House, formerly the home of Thomas Assheton Smith, who raised a corps of Yeomanry cavalry to quell civil disturbances in 1830, was purchased by the War Office in 1897 and initially was the residence and offices of the garrison’s Commanding Royal Engineer.

In 1899, it became the headquarters of Salisbury Plain and in 1905 became the official residence of the General Officer Commandingin- Chief until the early years of the First World War when it became an officers’ mess and later, nurses accommodation, which continued in the interwar years.

During the Second World War, Tedworth House was given to the United States Army for use as a club for GIs run by the American Red Cross. It reverted to nurses’ accommodation until 1977 when the military hospital closed and it became an Officers’ Mess and Officers’ Club until the present day.

The planning application submitted by Help for Heroes sees the opening of a new era for this iconic piece of military history.