WWI – Ampthill Command Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, February 1918

The ‘Camp Diary’ provides an insight into the Bedfordshire Training Depot (1914-16) and No.9 Command Depot (1916-1919) that followed. Based on newspaper reports of the time.

February 1918 – On Tuesday, 12th the Church Room hosted a concert to help with recruiting volunteers to the Ampthill Detachment of the 1st Bedfordshire Volunteer Regiment. Lieutenant F. W. Bradshaw (O.C. Ampthill Detachment) and Volunteers in uniform were in attendance.

The main event was the ‘Olympics’ Concert Party from the Ampthill Command Depot, with Miss Belle Cameron of the ‘Arcadians Company’ also contributing with song.

During the interval Captain D. Scott (Adjutant, 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Volunteer Regiment) outlined the scheme and Captain H. Spensley O.C. ‘C’ Company appealed for volunteers and explained how necessary it was to get the Volunteer Force up to strength in case of an invasion.

A collection was taken in aid of the Red Cross funds, which raised a goodly sum.

In the Ampthill Parish Magazine the Reverend W.D. May has gladly written of the presence of a good many members of the Urban Council attending, as well as officer and men of the Volunteer Training Corps, and those at the Command Depot.

1918.2.15 BS
Bedfordshire Standard – February 15, 1918



News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

February has been a quiet month for Ampthill Park recruits who are serving on the Western Front.


The Bedfordshire Standard. The original broadsheet is part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.

Ampthill Parish Magazine
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RBL Roll of Honour
The National Archives
Bedsatwar blog
Bedsathome blog
Red Cross
Ampthill’s Fallen – by John Hele (2014)

Report on the Activities of the 126 Company Canadian Forestry Corps. Ampthill 1917-18 (K.Fadden)
A Review of Activities with the 126th Company Canadian Forestry Corps while stationed at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, Eng. (Sgt H. Porter, 1918)



Next instalment to be published on 31 March 2018….

Text and images copyright S.Hartley (2015-)

Care is taken to ensure accuracy – please accept my apologies if the content contains any errors.

BUY: Stencilling Tommy’s Footprints

This 48 page book tells the story of how Tommy’s Footprints came about and notes the many people who have contributed and connected. There are just 150 individually numbered books. A unique gift.

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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.

£6 (inc p&p). Please email hartleyhare135@gmail.com to order by PayPal or BACS transfer. The book is also available from Ampthill Town Council, The Hub and The Stationery Boutique in Ampthill while stocks last.

To remember that amazing day and the memories it went onto craft, here is a free copy of the book “Stencilling Tommy’s Footprints” – click to download.


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