WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, May 1915

The ‘Camp Diary’ provides an insight into the Bedfordshire Training Depot from 1914-16. Based on newspaper reports of the time.

May 1915 – The recruits have been issued with blank cartridges and have carried out two night attacks, one upon the hill at Lidlington and another in woods near Ampthill. Attack and defensive orders are a daily routine. General Currie has visited the Camp to make a general inspection.

Messrs. Blake Bros have visited the Camp for the purpose of filming a picture* to be shown in the local cinemas. The film is sanctioned by the War Office and produced under the direction of Lietenant Colonel Vernon Mellor – it shows the man enlisting up to the time that he has been passed as a fully trained man in the Bedfordshires.

1915.5.21 top BT - blake

William Blake filming the Ampthill Camp


May 7, 1915


May 14, 1915

May 28, 1915


File 29-12-2015, 15 59 51


* The film was one of a series that the War Office commissioned as part of the ‘War Office Official Topical Budget.’ The silent newsreels were catalogued. The Bedfordshire Regiment picture is not among the surviving reels.

The Bedfordshire Standard.
The Bedfordshire Times and Independent. These original broadsheets are part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.

Next installment to be published on 1 February 2016….
Text copyright S.Hartley (2015-)

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