WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, February 1916

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

February 1916 – early this month a “spring clean” has been going on, and the whole of the huts have been cleansed and cleaned. Firing at the Milbrook Range continues most days.

RAF Aerial Photograph (1947)

The recruits are being regularly entertained with a fest of concerts by Mr Stewardson’s Bedford party, the Camp String Band, and “The Sandbags.”

Another four drafts – totalling about 480 men – have been picked out for active service. The Regimental Band gave each draft a hearty send-off. The Band journeyed into London with the third contingent and marched the Bedfords to Waterloo Station.

In a Luton a Tribunal has heard the cases of a number of conscientious objectors who asked to be excused from military service rather than enlist as required by the Derby Scheme.

Sad news has been received of 2nd Lieutenant Collisson who was formerly at Ampthill Camp to assist with training. At noon on February 23rd Lieutenant Collisson was shot by a sniper and he died instantly. Rector Collisson and the village of Gravenhurst have sustained a great loss.

Second Lieutenant Collisson

News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

The Bedfordshire Standard. The original broadsheet is part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RBL Roll of Honour
Bedsatwar blog
Bedsathome blog

Next installment to be published on 15 June 2016….

Text copyright S.Hartley (2015-)

BUY: Ampthill Camp WWI Centenary Postcard

This special postcard commemorates the centenary of the WWI Bedfordshire Training Depot (1914-16). Limited edition: 500

Proceeds will help to fund a book about the Ampthill Camp ~ profits to benefit the charity Combat Stress which was founded in 1919 to help WWI veterans deal with shell shock.

£2 (inc p&p). Please email hartleyhare135@gmail.com to order by PayPal or BACS transfer.

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