The ‘Camp Diary’ provides an insight into the Bedfordshire Training Depot from 1914-16. Based on newspaper reports of the time.
November 1914 – a reporter from the Ampthill and District News visits to discover how the camp is progressing. It is a hive of activity – six large shelters are virtually finished with another three underway. The air is laced with the sweet smell of creosote. The work is entrusted to two firms: Messers W.T. Sharp and Son and Mr G. Betsford, both of Ampthill. The standard of accommodation compares very favourably and will house 600 local men. Local grocer Messers Dudeney and Johnston Ltd will provide meals from a fully-equipped cook house with a huge stove.
On Thursday, 19th the first 160 recruits transfer from Kempston Barracks to Ampthill Park where every convenience and comfort has been made.
Lady Emily Ampthill has organised a working party that meets in the Church Room each week – 900 garments have already been produced, which is a splendid achievement. Ampthill Railway Station is receiving injured soldiers for dispersal to Wrest Park and a hospital in the north.Source: Ampthill and District News. The original broadsheet is part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.
Next installment to be published on 15 October 2015….
Text copyright S.Hartley (2015-)