The ‘Camp Diary’ provides an insight into the Bedfordshire Training Depot from 1914-16. Based on newspaper reports of the time.
April 1915 – During Lent the Rev C.R. Dickinson, Chaplain of the Park Camp, addressed the congregation of St. Andrew’s Church each Wednesday evening.
His Grace has kindly granted leave for soldiers to spend Easter with the families. Lieutenant Tanqueray of Woburn has been added to the command.*
Sad news – Sergeant J. Wheeler writes that on 9 March his good friend 8484 Sergeant William Martin died at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. The Martin family are from Water End, Flitwick.**
*Lieutenant Tanqueray – on 1 July 1916 was killed at the Somme.
– Times obituary, 14th April 1917: “Second Lieutenant F. Baron Tanqueray, Middlesex Regiment reported missing last July now officially reported wounded and missing and believed to have died on that day, was the younger son of Mt Frederick T Tanqueray, solicitor of Woburn, Beds and was 24 years of age. He was educated at The knoll Woburn Sands, and at Tonbridge School. Having passed the final Law examination on January 1914 when only 21, he joined his father in his business as solicitor at Woburn, but on the outbreak of War he enlisted in the Public School Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and worked through the ranks to be Sergeant. He was offered and accepted a commission in the same Regiment in March 1915 and went to the Front the following November.”
– Commemorated on the War Memorial in Woburn and on a bronze plate in St. Nicholas Church, Tingrith
**Sergeant William Martin – on 11 March 1915 was killed at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.
– Commemorated on the War Memorial in Flitwick.
– In 2008 William’s bronze death plaque was discovered in the attic of a house in Chandos Road, Ampthill.
Source: The Bedfordshire Standard. The original broadsheet is part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.
Next installment to be published on 15 January 2016….
Text copyright S.Hartley (2015-)