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Newport Branch Meeting, 2022 September 27

Newport Branch Meeting, 2022 September 27th

John Briggs: Building of the American Camp at Malpas, Newport

The American 332nd Engineer General Services Regiment was sent to Britain to start building camps for the large number of American troops who were to follow them to fight against Nazi Germany. They arrived in Newport in order to build a camp at Malpas (or Malpus as they seemed to call it!) One of their officers was Captain (later Colonel) G.Briggs.

Bell tents had been arranged as temporary accommodation at the site in the Malpas Court Estate. Their first task was to make a more substantial camp with nissen huts. This was needed as most of the troop were from the Southern States and totally unused to the very wet and cold (for them) weather in Newport. Our speaker, son of Captain Briggs, outlined the building of the camp in a most informative and amusing talk. After its construction, which only took a few weeks, the Regiment left for Newbury and subsequently to Belgium.

In Liége Captain Briggs met his future wife and then at the end of the war returned to his native state of Minnesota, where John Briggs was born. John was sent to Wales to complete his education at sixth form level, attending Atlantic College in Glamorgan, before returning to USA for his degree. After graduation he returned to Wales to teach and is now still living in Newport.


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