Tommy’s Footprints | Remembering WWI in Ampthill Great Park

A hundred years ago local men volunteered in droves to train at the Duke of Bedford’s camp in Ampthill Great Park. The recruits had top notch huts and facilities, paid for by the Duke.

By August 1916 the Ampthill Camp had trained 2,235 local men to fight for ‘King and Country.’ One third of these men – 707 – did not return to their families.

November 2016 – WWI centenary art provides a focus to remember the men who trained at the Ampthill Camp, and those who were injured or killed in the Great War.

The centrepiece is Tommy’s Footprints – a column of 707 footprints flanked by poppies in the hollow of Ampthill Great Park where the men once marched. The 180 metre long column will glimpse the terrible loss.

After months of planning, on Saturday, 5 November Tommy’s Footprints became a reality. Volunteers took their turn to stencil the column of footprints and plant the field of poppies – a cross for each fallen man.

Here are some photos of the stencilling.

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Please visit Ampthill Great Park (6-20 November) and see Tommy’s Footprints for yourself. In the days that follow Tommy’s Footprints will quietly fade into the ground, and disappear…

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