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UK TRAINING CAMP PLANS


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#1 Eric the Viking

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 06:38 PM

I am a part time Archaeology Student doing a dissertation on the Archaeology of WW1 training Camps in the UK. I am aware from Peter Simpkins book "Kitchener''s Army" and posts by Mooraker that a Major Armstrong at the Directorate of Fortifications and Works produced a standard layout or plan for a battalion. Does any know where I can get sight of this and the other plans subsequently produced?


Stewart and Sheen in "The Tyneside Scottish" refer to (Page 48) Alnwick camp being built to a specific design - namely WO Type Plan BD85/14 Authorised by Army Council Instruction 352/Sep/14. Gibson and Oldfield in "The Sheffield City Battalion"refer to (page 39) Redmires being built to standard design known as Type No 19. Again does anyone know where copies of these plans/layouts exist?


Any help in tracking down these designs or plans of over WW1 Training Camps would be very much appreciated.


Thank you


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#2 Moonraker

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 07:33 PM

You could try National Archives WO 153/1256: Engineer in Chief's D and DP publications on constructing huts, shelters, bridges, reservoirs, stores etc with miscellaneous reports.

And I have these noted:

Design of wartime huts, WO Army Council Instruction 249, Sep 18, 1914. Specification of huts for Territorials and yeomanry, ACI 264 appendix XII. Rules for roads, drainage, water supplies for new hutted camps, ACI 119 appendix VIII, Nov 12, 1914. Various instructions, Dec 14, 1914,ACI 135. Provision of recreation huts, Dec 22, 1914, ACI 211.

ACIs are held at Kew, WO 293.

It's years since I noted these and I can't say whether any will help you.

In autumn 1914, George V and Queen Mary inspected the first completed corrugated iron hut built as part of the Great War effort; Lord Kitchener thought it much too good and considered wattled mud and sides would have sufficed, though when General William Pitcairn Campbell, GOC Southern Command disagreed, he (uncharacteristically) conceded the point. (From Major Desmond Chapman-Huston & Major Owen Rutter, General Sir John Cowans, Hutchinson, London, 1926, vol II; I recall that this book is good on troop accommodation - Cowans was the Quarter-master General).

If you're serendipitous, you could spend an hour or so flicking through the National Archives files - I find this best done with the print outs at Kew rather than on-line


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#3 Eric the Viking

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 09:38 PM

Moonraker,
Many Thanks for this information.


Eric


You could try National Archives WO 153/1256: Engineer in Chief's D and DP publications on constructing huts, shelters, bridges, reservoirs, stores etc with miscellaneous reports.

And I have these noted:

Design of wartime huts, WO Army Council Instruction 249, Sep 18, 1914. Specification of huts for Territorials and yeomanry, ACI 264 appendix XII. Rules for roads, drainage, water supplies for new hutted camps, ACI 119 appendix VIII, Nov 12, 1914. Various instructions, Dec 14, 1914,ACI 135. Provision of recreation huts, Dec 22, 1914, ACI 211.

ACIs are held at Kew, WO 293.

It's years since I noted these and I can't say whether any will help you.

In autumn 1914, George V and Queen Mary inspected the first completed corrugated iron hut built as part of the Great War effort; Lord Kitchener thought it much too good and considered wattled mud and sides would have sufficed, though when General William Pitcairn Campbell, GOC Southern Command disagreed, he (uncharacteristically) conceded the point. (From Major Desmond Chapman-Huston & Major Owen Rutter, General Sir John Cowans, Hutchinson, London, 1926, vol II; I recall that this book is good on troop accommodation - Cowans was the Quarter-master General).

If you're serendipitous, you could spend an hour or so flicking through the National Archives files - I find this best done with the print outs at Kew rather than on-line


Moonraker





#4 LST_164

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:06 AM

Liverpool Record Office have a solicitor's (post-war) file dealing with compensation claims following the dismantling of the Royal Field Artillery training camp at Bettisfield Park, between the villages of Bettisfield and Hanmer in (the then) Flintshire though nearest & postal town is Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Ref. no. 720 KIR 3576 - seems to be from the papers of F.J.Kirby FSI, 5, Cook Street, Liverpool

Amongst the minutiae is a detailled plan of the camp made in 1919, showing hospital, YMCA, generator hut etc. It was duly dismantled, and the site (on private land) has not been built on since: though it must be pointed out that it was used again in the Second World War for another camp! There are few remains to be seen, and it is probable that what little is visible is of WW2 date.

The site ties in with building works nearby to add an extra-length platform for unloading artillery trains at Bettisfield railway station (still standing as a private dwelling), and use of rifle butts which are still visible at Fenns Moss nature reserve.

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#5 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:43 PM

Eric,

There's a couple of interesting camps near Deepcut in Surry. Call me and we can discuss.

Rod

#6 Moonraker

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 03:07 PM

... Amongst the minutiae is a detailled plan of the camp made in 1919, showing hospital, YMCA, generator hut etc. It was duly dismantled, and the site (on private land) has not been built on since: though it must be pointed out that it was used again in the Second World War for another camp! There are few remains to be seen, and it is probable that what little is visible is of WW2 date...

LST_164


More convenient are the plan and photographs of Chisledon Camp (near Swindon) on

this excellent site.

Scroll down the left-hand side to "Chiseldon to Marlborough including Chiseldon Camp and the Ogbournes".

WWII enthusiasts will find information about Ogbourne Camp and the ammunition explosion in Savernake Forest.

I have to concede that I'm not sure if Armstrong huts were built at the camp, many of whose buildings featured asbestos sheeting. There's not much of WWI interest to be seen nowadays,apart from the concrete roads laid in 1915 and the overgrown camp platform (which is on private land).

Pedants may wish to note that Chisledon and Chiseldon are both accepted forms, the latter now being the more usual.


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#7 Eric the Viking

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:41 PM

Moonraker and LST_164,
Thank you for the excellent information.


Eric

#8 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:32 AM

Eric,

I've just remembered that whilst looking at the Military landscape of Shooters Hill in London as a follow up to the Digging Dad's Army project I located some interesting practice trenches (yes Martin has the AP's and details). But these were at the Engineer training school. Would this class as a 'Training Camp' within the boundries of your project? We looked at doing some selective excavation of the location. As a reasonable sized piece of it is Council land and not built upon, so there is no reason why that would not be possible (Andy knows the council and local Archaeology authorities well).

Martin I know was interested but there is no reason why you could not use this as well from your perspective. If you like we can look at the feasability of digging and make it a community project thus ticking numerous boxes and ensuring sufficient manpower!

Let me know and I'll kick the ball into motion and see what is possible. If you fancy an Autumn dig that would be about right and I would suggest a long weekend as the duration with Geo Phys in advance, (you could mag / res this if you wish?). We have insurance covered as well as all the kit and expertise so it's an easily organised, short duration evaluation.

Call or Email,

Rod

#9 Moonraker

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:09 PM

Over the years there have been other posts and threads about WWI campsites, practice trenches and a few huts still standing.Two or three years ago I was shown such a hut (I don't know if it was one designed by Armstrong) in the Nadder Valley west of Salisbury. And in dry weather one can see from the hill on which the regimental badges are carved the outlines of Fovant Camp. If one knows where to look in this locality there are several "remains" - shards of hospital crockery, drains, traces of the military railway and so on.


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#10 Eric the Viking

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:50 PM

Rod,
Your idea sounds like an excellent plan - I would be love to take part in the dig.

Eric

#11 Eric the Viking

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:55 PM

Moonraker,
Do you have a more precise location for the hut? I would love to go and get a photograph of it. I have also seen mention of a YMCA hut still standing in Codford.

Thank you


Eric

Over the years there have been other posts and threads about WWI campsites, practice trenches and a few huts still standing.Two or three years ago I was shown such a hut (I don't know if it was one designed by Armstrong) in the Nadder Valley west of Salisbury. And in dry weather one can see from the hill on which the regimental badges are carved the outlines of Fovant Camp. If one knows where to look in this locality there are several "remains" - shards of hospital crockery, drains, traces of the military railway and so on.


Moonraker



#12 31543 Ogilwy

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 09:44 AM

Eric,

That's fine, I've spoken to Andy and the balls rolling. Also we have one which is a major training camp at a Stately home. Permissions are in place for another project of ours (WW II) but piggy-backing the WW I site should not be too much of a problem.

We've done the SMRC already but for your dissertation you might want to pull the Air Phot's and copy selectively. GR's from me or Andy if you wish. Also from our point of view we would like your take on what the ground says to you? If as you say you can tell the building types from the remaining outlines then there are enough to keep you happy for this one.

A couple of the suspected known buildings and the project has a purpose, vis to see if the evidence from the the landscape has the ability to show the buildings purpose at the time. Add to that evaluation of the condition of the evidence remaining and a determination of its requirement for protection if needed.

I think the Woolwich dig as a long weekend and involve community if possible. The other may be worth a full week, with a day of geo-phys and total station (from which you can proove your theories), followed by 4-6 days of excavation. time frame, Woolwich Sept' Oct' this year and the big one Spring 2012.

Rod

#13 Moonraker

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 04:45 PM

Moonraker,
Do you have a more precise location for the hut? I would love to go and get a photograph of it.

Eric


There's a member of this Forum who visits it only occasionally nowadays who showed me the hut, which is on private land. I'll bring this thread to her attention.


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#14 mamck

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:40 AM

There's a member of this Forum who visits it only occasionally nowadays who showed me the hut, which is on private land. I'll bring this thread to her attention.


Moonraker

Hi Eric the viking, If you live near Fovant, or were prepared to visit, I would be delighted to show you three huts which are still standing (only just in one case) and the layout of the camps which were here during WW1. There is still quite a bit to see if you know where to look. mamck

#15 Moonraker

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:36 PM

I vouch for the fact that a visit is very worthwhile. Quite apart from the WWI interest it's a very attractive part of the country, and nearby there's lots more to interest members of this Forum: war graves, memorials, sites of other camps and Bulford and Tidworth Barracks. The last two are still major army establishments but one can still see lots of note from and in public areas.


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#16 Eric the Viking

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:56 PM

Mamck,
Thank you for your very kind offer. I have found little about the camp at Fovant so far and would be very interested to see what is still standing. I am often down in Bristol on business and will try and arrange a detour down to Salisbury.

Eric

Hi Eric the viking, If you live near Fovant, or were prepared to visit, I would be delighted to show you three huts which are still standing (only just in one case) and the layout of the camps which were here during WW1. There is still quite a bit to see if you know where to look. mamck



#17 Eric the Viking

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 05:59 PM

Moonraker,

I hope to do some geophysics on Sling Camp in Bulford, subject to Defence Estates permission as not all of it has been built on.

Thank you

Eric


I vouch for the fact that a visit is very worthwhile. Quite apart from the WWI interest it's a very attractive part of the country, and nearby there's lots more to interest members of this Forum: war graves, memorials, sites of other camps and Bulford and Tidworth Barracks. The last two are still major army establishments but one can still see lots of note from and in public areas.


Moonraker





#18 Graham Smith

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 06:17 PM

Eric,

No idea of your location but there is a re-constructed WW1 hut at the visitors centre of Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. The hut is open to the public on Sundays between 12 -2pm. It is set out as it would have been 'back in the day' with beds, uniforms of the New Zealand Rifles and equipment. There is also a large static model of the whole area as it was.

There is an excellent book entitled 'A Town for four Winters' Isbn 0 902974 03 3 that is sold at the same location for 5....That tells the story of the two huge traning camps (Brocton and Rugeley) located on the chase (some 1500 huts) plus a 1000 bed hospital used for the treatment of 'shell shock' victims

Some 250,000 men passed through these camps prior to going off to the front.

Staffordshire County Council have produced maps of both camps. They show the camp as set up in 1914 and again when the remains were re-surveyed in 2006...(ish) Using these maps it is possible to find all that remains and the location of the practice trenches.

If you need any more, then just ask and I'm sure myself or another South Staffs pal could assist in exploring the area. :thumbsup: :poppy:

#19 mamck

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 10:36 AM

Mamck,
Thank you for your very kind offer. I have found little about the camp at Fovant so far and would be very interested to see what is still standing. I am often down in Bristol on business and will try and arrange a detour down to Salisbury.

Eric

You might like to look on our web site for some info about Fovant WW1 Camp www.fovanthistory.org mamck

#20 Eric the Viking

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 05:58 PM

Graham,
Thanks for the info. I visited the County Archaeologist and the SMR just last Friday to see what they have. On my way back down to Bicester I popped to the visitors Centre but the hut was unfortunately closed. Do you have any pictures of the set up inside that you could let me have please? I have a copy of the Whitehouse's book, but I am right in thinking that the concrete remains by the Glacial Boulder are for a watertower or tank?

Cheers


Eric
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#21 Eric the Viking

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 06:03 PM

Mamck,
Just had a quick look - what a brilliant site and plans of the Camps as well! Thanks for the steer.

Cheers


Eric

#22 Graham Smith

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    William Smith was private 558 in 1/6 South Staffs in WW1 fought at Hill 60 and Loos
    James Smith was a private in 2nd Ox and Bucks. He landed in a Horsa glider near Ranville Normandy on D-day, fought at Battle of Bulge, Rhine crossing and Palestine. Jim sadly lost his final battle, that being against Cancer.

Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:28 PM

Eric,

Blimey I was out on the Chase on that Friday too !! I did call in at the visitors centre to buy a copy of 'Tommy at Gommecourt'

Any way, that aside you are correct in that the concrete base by the Glacial boulder was the foundations for the Brocton camp water tower (there is a picture of the tower in the Whithouse's book, pg 2)

Were you able to beg/steal/borrow a copy of the 2008 (ish) survey maps of the camps?

I will PM you with a link to my Flkr account where there are a few pics of the re-constructed hut. I will also return next weekend and get a few extra pics from inside the building.

If you need anything else PM me and I will do my very best to assist. I'm no expert in any of this, but I do know a fair few Palswith an interest in the history of the South Staffs rgts and the use of Cannock Chase camps.

#23 Terry_Reeves

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 05:19 PM

There are quite a number remains of camps to be found on the Chase. The site of the ordnance depot can be seen just down the road from the Glacial Boulder and behind the depot, the railway cutting which leads down the slope to the coaling station, the remains if which are still there. On the opposite side of the road from the boulder, in the valley, hut bases can be found on the slope and also around Freda's Grave. It is also worth visiting the hospital site which is still visible in the undergrowth as is the site of the nurses quarters a short distance away.


TR

#24 Graham Smith

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    William Smith was private 558 in 1/6 South Staffs in WW1 fought at Hill 60 and Loos
    James Smith was a private in 2nd Ox and Bucks. He landed in a Horsa glider near Ranville Normandy on D-day, fought at Battle of Bulge, Rhine crossing and Palestine. Jim sadly lost his final battle, that being against Cancer.

Posted 15 February 2011 - 03:34 PM

Re-Constructed Hut at the Visitors Centre on Cannock Chase

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How nature re-claims is own

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WW1 Practice trenches

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Cannock Chase has lots of remains of the two vast camps at Brocton and Rugeley. It's well worth a visit ans best of all you can take the family and call it a day out :ph34r: Blimey if its nice take a picnic too.
If you are lucky you may even get to see the locals running about (thats the Deer not the hoodies)

#25 Graham Smith

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    William Smith was private 558 in 1/6 South Staffs in WW1 fought at Hill 60 and Loos
    James Smith was a private in 2nd Ox and Bucks. He landed in a Horsa glider near Ranville Normandy on D-day, fought at Battle of Bulge, Rhine crossing and Palestine. Jim sadly lost his final battle, that being against Cancer.

Posted 15 February 2011 - 03:41 PM

Here are the WW1 Rifle Range Butts. This one (Range D on the Chase) had 90 targets along its length. Its a good source of WW1 spent ammo too

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The ammo found. (The best shaped bullet was found off the WW2 Butts)

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A couple of dodgy looking natives

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