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.
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.
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.
Private Walter C. PEARCE died at home and has been laid to rest in Hitchin Cemetery.
23284 Private Frederick FOSTER of St.Neots Died on November 1
30402 Private Robert G. DYNES (41) of Bedford Died of Wounds on November 8
19427 Private George W. GODFREY (36) of Ramsey Died of Wounds on November 11
23228 Private Leonard HODGKINS (28 of Yelden Killed in Action on November 12
33181 Sergeant George S. BABBINGTON (27) of Stagsden Died of Wounds on November 20
22935 Private George H. BAILEY (23) of Sharnbrook Died of Wounds on November 20
22792 Private Jack BUCKLE (21) of Chalton Killed in Action on November 20
20953 Private George L. WOODING (31) of Luton Killed in Action on November 20
23634 Private Walter C. PEARCE (37) of Hitchin Died on November 21
60154 Private Arthur TUCKER (24) of Woburn Killed in Action on November 24
26758 Corporal Frank A. BOTTERILL (21) of Bozeat Died of Wounds on November 26
22681 Private Charles HART (27) of Tyttenhanger Green Died of Wounds on November 27
22842 Private Israel J. GOODMAN (30) of Marston Church End Died on November 29
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.