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Stiff Upper Lip: Road Names And The British Military

No nonsense British approach with the naming of roads ...

British forces member

The defeat of Napoleon and Hitler, a starring role in the foundation of NATO, the world-famous RAF, Royal Navy and Army - the UK military has a lot to be proud about.

But when it comes to naming roads at the country's military bases, the British tend to be a little modest.

We've taken a light-hearted look at some of the more functional names to adorn our forces facilities...

Catterick Garrison

Catterick Garrison To Play Host To "Festival of Nature"

Our pick of the street titles from the British Army's largest training establishment is the definition of functionality. We have Range Road - situated near the ranges.

RAF Brize Norton

Royal Air Force VIP Voyager Based At RAF Brize Norton

Another base to take a no-nonsense approach to road names is the famous RAF Brize Norton.

From Eastern Perimeter Road, to Air Terminal Road and Sergeants Mess Road, there's no room for confusion there.

HMNB Portsmouth

WW2 Bomb Dredged Up In Portsmouth Harbour

Home to one of the oldest dry docks in the world, Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth is the headquarters for two-thirds of the Royal Navy's surface fleet.

The site's road names aren't quite as grand though. There's Navy Road, the descriptive Circular Road and of course, a Military Road.

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As you'd expect, there are also a couple of sea-related titles - see Frigate Road and Anchor Gate Road.

RAF Lakenheath

F-35A At RAF Lakenheath

RAF Lakenheath, despite being an RAF airfield, hosts United States Air Force units and personnel.

It's home to the statue of Liberty Wing, one of the premier fighter wings of the US Air Force in Europe, supporting three squadrons of F-15E Strike Eagle and F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft.

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As a base rarely used before the Second World War, when it suddenly became very important indeed, someone had to think up some road names - and fast.

The majority are named with a theme in mind - so there's trees: Cedar/Ash/Apple and Maple Close, Birch/Elm and Fir Walk, Olive/Yew and Pine Close... you get the idea. 

There are also roads named after locations from across the country: see Dudley Street, Halifax Street, Exeter Crescent and Norwich road - and of course, bearing in mind the US-UK connection - NATO place.

And who wouldn't want a stroll down the rather grand-sounding 'Lord's Walk'... 

The Americans do it rather differently though...

Fort Hood Darnall Hospital
Fort Hood has some 'interesting' road names

Somewhat predictably, US military road names are a little less 'stiff upper lip' and some might say a little brash.

Whether it's Fort Hood's action-packed Tank Destroyer Boulevard or Hell on Wheels Avenue, or Fort Knox's frankly awesome Phantom Division Road and Blackhawk Street, you've got to hand it to our allies from across the Atlantic - they're not afraid of going all out.

And always remember to be careful if moving to civvy street - you could end up somewhere like this, in Oxford...

Crotch Crescent
Picture: Orion Montoya

Got any fantastic military road names you'd like to tell us about, at home or abroad? Just comment below to let us know!

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