West Lulworth

a Registered One-Place Study and part of the Dorset OPC network

Army Camp

The Armoured Fighting Vehicle School of Gunnery was established at Lulworth Camp on 2 February 1918. The Centre has trained members of all three armed Services. The primary focus is on the Army, with soldiers from the Royal Armoured Corps, the Royal Artillery, the Royal Engineers and the Infantry undertaking individual training on the full range of armoured fighting vehicles, but armoured vehicle training for the Royal Marines takes place there as well.


However, the military association with Lulworth began much earlier as the photograph below shows.

Dorset Rifle Volunteers pictured at Lulworth Cove in 1864

Bournemouth Daily Echo

Thursday 4th February 2010

Army exercise gave residents a sleepless night

  SCORES of residents had a restless night after an “unusually intense” artillery bombardment at Lulworth ranges.

Tuesday’s night firing exercise was reported to have rattled window frames 20 kilometres away in Poole, where one resident likened it to “trying to sleep in a war zone.” Atmospheric conditions were blamed for carrying the sound of the salvos, which the army insists were part of a routine night firing exercise.

  Andy Willis, of Haymoor Road, Oakdale, said it was the loudest and longest barrage he’d heard in Poole for 20 years. “Some of the booms were really loud, they vibrated doors and windows at times. It was unusually intense. It sounded like Kabul, like a war zone. I can understand they need to do what they do, but they were firing from 7.30pm to almost midnight – maybe the army could finish around 10pm, that way everyone could get some sleep.”

  Another Oakdale resident, Terry O’Neil, said: “It was a deep sound, like when lorries drop iron skips on the ground. “It was quite disturbing, like an explosion in the earth.”

  Coincidentally, Lulworth Camp celebrated its 92nd birthday on Tuesday.

  An army spokesman said: “Its been widely publicised that we have night firing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesday night, according to the gunnery school, was no different to normal. Maybe atmospheric conditions were such that the sound was carried further. Its vital for training and a reality of the current operational environment that soldiers have to learn to engage and destroy the enemy in both day and night conditions. It is critical that soldiers are trained to operate in any environment.”


AFV Gunnery School

This is the entrance to the Gunnery School Lulworth Camp, Dorset.

© Copyright Stuart Buchan and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence


1st Wiltshire Volunteer Rifle Corps, Wiltshire Regiment

entering Lulworth camp.  3 August 1907

© Copyright  Wiltshire Treasures

and reproduced with kind permission of Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre