Tag Archives: Ampthill’s Fallen

WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – the memorial plate in Ampthill Methodist Church

There are four WWI memorials in Ampthill:

  • In Ampthill Park the Duke of Bedford Memorial Cross remembers the 2,235 local volunteers who trained in Ampthill Park (1914-16) and the 707 who were killed;
  • At the end of the Alameda the Cenotaph remembers the 65 Ampthill men who were killed;
  • In St.Andrew’s Church Yard a Memorial Cross remembers the parishioners who were killed;
  • Inside Ampthill Methodist Church a large, brass wall plate remembers the men connected with the Church and Sunday School who were killed.

On Monday 4, August 2014 to commemorate the outbreak of WWI I photographed three of the memorials.


Duke of Bedford Memorial Cross, Ampthill Park


Cenotaph, The Alameda



Memorial Cross, St.Andrew’s Church

On 24, February 2016 Ampthill Methodist Church kindly allowed me to photograph the fourth memorial – a large brass plate Inside the Nave on the East wall.The Memorial Plate is inlaid with enamel and measures about a yard square. It was unveiled on 5, December 1920.

2016-02-24 17.24.26

Memorial Wall Plate, Ampthill Methodist Church

Six of the men are brothers of the Ansell, Cox and Money families. Christopher and Frank Cox were killed a few days apart in 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. John Hele’s book ‘Ampthill’s Fallen‘ tells the fate of all twenty-two men. Five of the men are also remembered on the Duke of Bedford War Memorial in Ampthill Park where they trained (1914-16). The five men are:

  • Arthur Gillett
  • Thomas Money
  • George Money
  • Richard William Putman
  • George Thompson


Ampthill’s Fallen (John Hele, 2014)

Content & photographs copyright Stephen Hartley (2015-)

WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – Tommy’s Footprints….

In 1914 Lord Kitchener (Secretary of State for War) issued a call to arms. The 11th Duke of Bedford responded by establishing the ‘Bedfordshire Training Depot’ in Ampthill Park to help man the Bedfordshire Regiment. By August 1916 the Depot would train 2,235 infantry soldiers to fight for ‘King and Country.’ A lone Memorial Cross stands proud in Ampthill Park to remember the soldiers who trained there, the 707 men who died, and the ‘Ampthill Command Depot’ that treated 8369 injured soldiers (1916-19).

In 2016 it will be one hundred years since the Bedfordshire Training Depot closed. Ampthill Town Council is leading preparations to remember the volunteers who trained at the Bedfordshire Training Depot, and those who died or were injured. The project will involve local people, community organisations and schools – it will help to improve our knowledge about Ampthill’s role in WWI.

The centrepiece will be Tommy’s Footprints – a poignant art installation in the hollow of Ampthill Great Park where the soldiers passed.


Tommy’s Footprints will be installed in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday (13 November 2016). Further details will be on the Ampthill Town Council website and in the newsletter Around the Pump. To find out more please contact the Town Council on 01525-404325 or send an email.


WWI – Book: Ampthill’s Fallen by John Hele (2014)

In 2014 Ampthill historian John Hele published a book called Ampthill’s Fallen. 

The War Memorial - Cooper's Hill, Ampthill

The Town War Memorial – the Alameda, Ampthill

Ampthill’s Fallen is a tribute to the 67 men on the Ampthill Memorials, and to all those who were killed or died as a result of the Great War. John Hele diligently records what is known about each man’s life, service and death. Eight of the men also appear on the Memorial Cross in Ampthill Park because they trained at the Bedfordshire Training Depot (1914-16). The eight soldiers are:

  • 23071 Private Harry Burt
  • 22809 Private Arthur Gillett
  • 30064 Private Stewart William Hill
  • 23251 Acting Sergeant George Money
  • 26703 Private Thomas Money
  • 23503 Private Richard Putman
  • 23511 Lance Corporal George Thompson
  • 18972 Private Albert Willis

To find out more read Ampthill’s Fallen [ISBN 978-0-9542619-5-5 – 149 pages ~ £13 inc p&p]. To obtain a copy of this excellent book please email John Hele.