Tag Archives: George Godfrey

WWI – Ampthill Command Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, November 1917

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.

November 1917 – on Wednesday, November 14th  Sister Dora NEWMAN (Superintendent) of the Ampthill V.A.D. Hospital was awarded the Royal Red Cross Medal (2nd Class) for devoted service rendered to wounded soldiers. Ampthill Park House is one of four residences in town that are providing medical care to support war effort.


Ampthill Park House (1908)

On November 18th a large number of wounded arrived at Ampthill Station from France and Flanders. There were about fifty cases who were conveyed by motor ambulance for treatment at the two hospitals in Woburn. Most of the men were suffering from being gassed, and a number of them were Canadians and Anzacs.

1917.11.16 BS

Bedfordshire Standard – November 16, 1917


1917.11.23 BS

Bedfordshire Standard – November 23, 1917


News of the Canadians

Work is underway on Cooper’s Hill to create a camp of rustic, timber huts from from the waste slabs. This will replace the bell tents as winter draws in.

There is news that Private John HAYWARD, one of the railway foreman, has been injured after the brakes failed on a railway car and he was dashed into a closed gate at the bottom of the grade.  Private Hayward sustained serious compound fracture to the right arm. He has been taken to the Duchess of Bedford’s Hospital, at Woburn

Sergeant GARDEN of the Canadian Forestry Corps has been at the Wesleyan School to tell the children of ‘Canada.’ Sergeant Garden took his hearers on an imaginary trip where he described the wonders of Niagra Falls, the Rocky Mountains, and many other sights and scenes of that beautiful country. The headmaster, Mr W.H. CUTLAND, thanked the narrator on behalf of the children.

News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

Thirteen Ampthill Camp recruits have been killed this month of which eight died of battle wounds. Here is what we know of Sergeant George S. BABBINGTON.


Source: de Ruvignys Roll of Honour vol.3

Private Walter C. PEARCE died at home and has been laid to rest in Hitchin Cemetery.


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

Ampthill Parish Magazine
de Ruvignys Roll of Honour vol.3
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RBL Roll of Honour
The National Archives
Bedsatwar blog
Bedsathome blog

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 December 2017….

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.