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.
September 1918 – a war aims meeting was held when a large crowd listened to speeches by several speakers on the Allies’ war aims. Mr A.H. Wingfield presided.
Private Herbert FOSSEY (Middlesex Regiment) has been wounded again in France, and is now in hospital at the base.
Miss Dorothy Long of Avenue House has been home on leave. She is a member of the Ampthill V.A.D., and has been working in one of the Rouen Hospitals for the last two years. Another member, Miss Olive Smith of Chandos Road, has been working in Salonika Hospital for over a year.
The death in action of the Bedfords’ 48016 Private John LANCASTER (30) of Oliver Street has been reported. John was or some years employed by the Midland Railway Co., and he joined up with the Bedfords in the early years of the war, and after a short training was sent to France with his battalion, afterwards being moved to Italy. After some months fighting in the mountains he was sent back to France again, where he was killed in severe fighting late last month.
Ampthill Command Depot
Private Robert H. PACK of Dunstable Street has been promoted to Corporal, whilst serving at the Command Depot with the R.A.M.C.
C.S.M. George BASS, of Saunder’s Piece, has been home on sick leave. He has just been transferred to the Essex Regiment, after over 18 years service with the Bedfords’, with whom he served during the South African War. For some time he was R.S.M. at the Depot, and after some months’ service in France, is now at the V.A.D. Hospital in Bedford.
Lieutenant T.E.P. BOOTH, late of the Bedford Alma team, has been appointed secretary to the Depot Sports Committee for the ensuing season. Sergeant H. HUBBARD, a returned prisoner of war, is acting as captain.
C.S.M. CHITTLEBOROUGH, of the Command Depot, has been detailed from the Eastern Command to act as instructor to the Ampthill Volunteers. C.S.M. CHITTLEBOROUGH belongs to the Norfolk Regiment, and has been wounded three times in action. He also wears the ribbon of the 1914 star.
The Ampthill detachment of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment have moved their headquarters from the Drill Hall, Market Place, to the Old Territorial Drill Hall in Dunstable Street. A Hotchkiss Gun Section is being formed in connection with the detachment. The new Drill Hall has been occupied by men of the Command Depot until recently, as sleeping quarters.
43419 Private Arthur W. HIPWELL of Ramsey St. Mary who is at Command Depot recuperating from a gunshot wound to the back, has received a postcard from relatives in Blackpool.
Canadian Forestry Corps
The Mill at Ampthill Station has been run for nearly 3 days to clear up odd logs from the bush and construction, and cut 26,302 f.b.m.
On Saturday, 28th September a quiet and pretty wedding was held at St. Peter’s Church, Tempsford, where Private Charles A. Boyce of the Canadian Foresters was married to Miss Ellen M. Smith, a teacher at the Ampthill National Schools. The bride was given away by her father and attended by her sister Miss Florence Smith. Private D. Gillespie acted as best man. The bride was attired in white , with a veil and orange blossom, and carried a bouquet of carnations, roses and sweet peas.
News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front
This month the war has claimed the lives of 16 men who trained at the Ampthill Camp.
18751 Lance Sergeant John S. BASS M.M. (34) of Upper Dean Killed in Action on September 2
73024 Private William G. WELLS (28) of Biggleswade Died of Wounds on September 2
33512 Private Herbert H. HANCOCK (31) of Fulham Died of Wounds on September 3
18240 Private William BURNIDGE (34) of Woburn Sands Killed in Action on September 21
20369 Private Ernest W. G. COPEMAN (31) of Stanford Killed in Action on September 21
20639 Private Albert CHARTER of Bletchley Killed in Action on September 21
51625 Private Albert J. WARMAN (30) of Bedford Died of Wounds on September 23
17743 Corporal Harry GIBBONS (23) of Steppingley Killed in Action on September 27
18779 Private George C. BOZIER (23) of Kensborne Green Killed in Action on September 27
18787 Private Arthur J. BONESS (31) of Biggleswade Killed in Action on September 27
22765 Private Henry PAYNE (21) of Godmanchester Killed in Action on September 27
22809 Private Arthur J. GILLETT (19) of Millbrook Killed in Action on September 27
23533 Private Herbert BRUNT (21) of Northill Died of Wounds on September 27
5/22504 Sergeant Charles J. SIMPKINS of Houghton Conquest Died of Pneumonia on September 29
20282 Private Sidney C. YEOMANS (20) of Bedford Died of Wounds on September 30
23774 Private Percy C.T. BRITTEN (20) of Salford Killed in Action on September 30
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
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 October 2018….
Text and images copyright S.Hartley (2015-)
Care is taken to ensure accuracy – please accept my apologies if the content contains any errors.
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