In 1914 Lord Kitchener (Secretary of State for War) issued a call to arms. The 11th Duke of Bedford responded by establishing the ‘Bedfordshire Training Depot’ in Ampthill Park to help man the Bedfordshire Regiment. By August 1916 the Depot would train 2,235 infantry soldiers to fight for ‘King and Country.’ A lone Memorial Cross stands proud in Ampthill Park to remember the soldiers who trained there, the 707 men who died, and the ‘Ampthill Command Depot’ that treated 8369 injured soldiers (1916-19).
In 2016 it will be one hundred years since the Bedfordshire Training Depot closed. Ampthill Town Council is leading preparations to remember the volunteers who trained at the Bedfordshire Training Depot, and those who died or were injured. The project will involve local people, community organisations and schools – it will help to improve our knowledge about Ampthill’s role in WWI.
The centrepiece will be Tommy’s Footprints – a poignant art installation in the hollow of Ampthill Great Park where the soldiers passed.
Tommy’s Footprints will be installed in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday (13 November 2016). Further details will be on the Ampthill Town Council website and in the newsletter Around the Pump. To find out more please contact the Town Council on 01525-404325 or send an email.
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