This is a work of fiction created for the Twilight 2000 Role Playing Game. Original material © Dave Ross

The North Staffordshire Enclave

The north Staffordshire towns of Stone on Trent and Newcastle under Lyme have been home to a significant British army presence since January 1998 when the authorities withdrew from Birmingham, and several hundred men and women from the 3rd Battalion, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters and the Queen’s Own Mercian Yeomanry regrouped in the area. They have been joined by more troops since then, with a number of personnel making their way to Stoke when their own units disintegrated after the second wave of nuclear exchanges in the autumn of 1998, and the garrison currently has men and women from over a dozen different Corps and Regiments. Reasonably well armed with standard British small arms including several mortars and 84mm Carl Gustav Rocket launchers, and well equipped, the garrison is now known as STAFFOR (STAFfordshire FORce)and has been organised into several ad hoc Companies, ensuring that the local area has remained stable and secure, allowing the local communities to undertake various reconstruction efforts. The civilians also feed the troops and provide a wide range of ancillary services; both sides are quite happy with the situation, and the area’s civilian population has gradually increased, with refugees from throughout the region making their way for what is perceived to be an island of relative peace and stability. Whilst most of these newcomers have not been permitted to enter either Stoke or Newcastle, a number of tented cities have sprung up on the peripheries of the area controlled by the military, close enough to ensure they benefit from the Army’s protection. Impromptu fortifications have been erected around the approaches to both towns the troops regularly patrol around their perimeter.

Brigadier Richard Woodley

Since January 1998 STAFFOR has been under the command of Brigadier Richard Woodley. A forty four year old Regular Army officer and graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with over twenty years of service to the Crown, Woodley served as both a Platoon and Company Commander with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in Northern Ireland earlier in his career and commanded the 2nd Battalion, RRF from 1994 to 1996, relinquishing command shortly before the start of the Twilight War when he was promoted to Colonel. He has spent the entire War in the UK, being promoted to Brigadier in mid 1997, at which point he joined the staff of Regional Government Headquarters Nine at Swynnerton near Stoke (the RGHQ’s were part of the British Government’s contingency plans to govern the country in the aftermath of a nuclear war; located in underground sites, each was under the leadership of a Government Minister who would adopt the title of Regional Commissioner and be supported by a mixed civilian and military staff that included a senior military officer). Woodley remained at the RGHQ throughout the second half of 1997, surviving the devastation of the first nuclear exchange. The pressure was too much for the Regional Commissioner, who suffered a fatal

heart attack, and when the staff finally emerged from the Swynnerton bunker in January 1998 Woodley was effectively in charge. Establishing himself in Stoke with the remaining RGHQ staff, as the senior military officer in the area he took command of the troops assembling in Stoke (the next highest ranking officer was a Major from the Sherwood Foresters).


Woodley is an able and experienced leader, and has done a good job in maintaining order in the north Staffordshire area. He is well liked by the men and women he commands, and morale in STAFFOR is good – the troops are reasonably well fed and are not in any imminent danger (marauder activity in the immediate area is negligible, with no one group being large enough or suicidal enough to want to take on several hundred well armed British troops. Unknown to the troops however, Woodley is currently working to his own agenda. Supported by a small number of trusted allies, his intention is to try and secure his own position as ruler of the local area in the long term, using STAFFOR as his own private army. An instrumental part of his plan entails persuading the troops that the central Government has effectively ceased to exist and that they are on their own and rumours to this effect (instigated by the Brigadier and his allies) are rife throughout the region and have proven quite effective in the absence of any conventional media outlets to counter them. Woodley also sabotaged the enclave’s last long range radio several months ago, cutting it off further from the main body of Government forces.


Unlike many of the despots and marauder chieftains laying claim to fiefdoms in the British Isles in 2000 Woodley is not a violent or brutal man, he is simply following what he sees as the best path for the security and stability of his enclave and the forces under his command. Currently his biggest concern is the arrival of anyone from the south of England who can contradict the rumours he is circulating. Should such an individual or group reach Stoke it would present the Brigadier with a considerable dilemma as to what action to take – thus far he has not crossed the Rubicon and taken any action against HMG that could be proven and could convincingly deny any accusations against him, however any new arrivals from the south would be viewed as a potential threat.

STAFFOR

Total strength: 421 personnel

CO Brigadier Richard Woodley


Headquarters Company

Location: Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire (Territorial Army Centre, Bucknall Road)

Strength: 14 men


Quick Reaction Force

Location: Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire (Territorial Army Centre, Bucknall Road)

Strength: 43 men, 3 x FV721 Fox, 2 x Land Rover WMIK

OC: Lieutenant George Middleton, Queen’s Own Mercian Yeomanry


A Company

Location: Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire (Territorial Army Centre, Bucknall Road)

Strength: 116 men

OC: Captain Huw Jones, Royal Regiment of Wales


B Company

Location: Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire (Territorial Army Centre, Liverpool Road)

Strength: 128 men

OC: Captain Hannah Watson, Royal Military Police


C Company

Location: Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire (Territorial Army Centre, Bucknall Road)

Strength: 120 men

OC: Major Ray Cartwright, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters


A and B Companies are responsible for local security in their respective areas. C Company and the Quick Reaction Force serve as STAFFOR’s reserve. QRF has one Platoon from C Company under command (Platoons rotate duty as QRF Platoon).