Tag Archives: Smith

WWI – Ampthill Command Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, June 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.

June 1918

Ampthill Command Depot

About 65 large marquees and a number of small tents have been erected, and a large camp has formed at eastern end of the park to receive more convalescent troops who are expected to arrive any day.

The Command Depot cricket team scored an impressive victory on Saturday, June 1st by beating the Hydraulic Works team by 137 runs to 56. The low score of the Luton team was chiefly due to the excellent bowling of Private T. EDWARDS (late of Surrey 2nd XI).  Lieutenant BOOTH (late captain of Bedford Alma) scored 52 for the Command Depot.

On Thursday, June 13th an excellent show was given by D.H. Evan’s No.1 Party at Olympia. The large hall was crowded with Tommies and their friends.

A draft of 50 men was escorted to the Station by the Depot’s Drum and Fife Band.

PC J. PEGG, formerly Sergeant Instructor of bayonet training who was very popular at the Training- and the Command Depot, has been discharged to join the Ampthill Police. Force.

Ampthill Volunteers

The Ampthill Platoon marched over to Clophill and attended church parade at the Parish Church. The sermon was preached by the Rector, Rev Cecil L. MATTHEWS, who is home on short leave from the Front. Lieutenant F.W. BRADSHAW (O.C.), Sergeant E.J. MOORE (Platoon Sergeant), Corporals W.E. PARMITER and J. SMITH, and other N.C.Os were on parade. Major L.H. CHASE (Officer Commanding the 1st Battalion) inspected the Ampthill Platoon.

Canadian Forestry Corps

In early June the Portuguese Labour Corps remembered the first anniversary of the death of their comrade who was killed in an air raid in France. There was a series of village dances to the music of an improvised orchestra consisting of a concertina, mandolin, and a guitar. The dancing kept on to a late hour, when hats were removed, and the proceedings concluded with the singing of the Portuguese National Anthem.

The “Jesters” concert party from the Royal Engineers, Bedford provided an evening of entertainment at the Y.M.C.A. Hut in the Pines, and their programme was thoroughly enjoyed. The “Zig-Zag Concert Party and Bob Barry’s party from Luton have also been entertaining at the Y.M.C.A. On Thursday, the “Woodpeckers” Pierrot Troupe of the Canadian Forestry Corps made their debut, with an excellent programme of the latest songs.

A pretty wedding has taken place on June 3rd at St. Andrew’s between Canadian Forester Private E.J. PERRY and Miss Gertrude Gowers of Park Hill. The Canadian’s Chaplain, Rev. H.P. Pollard officiated.

A book by Sgt. Herman L. PORTER has been published. In a pleasant, breezy manner Sergt. Porter reviews the work of the Canadian Forestry Corps since the formation of the camp in August 1917. The book is published by the Beds. Times Publishing Co. Ltd and is on sale at Mr F. Harwood’s in the Market Place, and is priced at 2s 3d. The entire profits are being devoted to a fund for the providing of concerts at the Y.M.C.A Hut during the summer.

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News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

There is news that Sapper James T. WILDMAN has been badly gassed in the recent fighting in France, and is lying seriously ill in Queen Mary’s Military Hospital at Whalley.

We also hear that 2nd Lieutenant Walter E. GADSBY M.M. has been wounded again and is now at the 3rd London General Hospital in Wandsworth. Formerly a private footman to HRH Queen Mary, 17906 Private W.E. GADSBY enlisted in the early days of the war and left the Bedfordshire Training Depot in May 1915 with the first draft. Walter has the unique honour of being the first man from the Depot to win the Military Medal which he did in July 1916 at the infamous Somme ‘Trones Wood’ action, and was subsequently recommended for a commission which he took in August 1917 with 4th York & Lancaster Regiment.

26765 Private Arthur ROBINSON of Woburn Street, who trained at the Bedfordshire Depot, has been awarded the Military Medal. While serving as a runner with the Bedfords’ Private Robinson discovered part of the line unoccupied. At great personal risk and danger to himself Private Robinson brought up reinforcements and he saved the situation. His younger brother, 27359 Private Percy ROBINSON, died in France in April 1917 due to a serious head injury.

This month the war has claimed the lives of two men who trained at the Ampthill Camp.

Source: 

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

Ampthill Parish Magazine
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RBL Roll of Honour
Ancestry.com
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)

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

#IWMSTORIES

Next instalment to be published on 31 July 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.

Continue reading

WWI – Ampthill Command Depot in Ampthill Park – the Camp Diary, November 1916

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 1916 – the number of convalescent soldiers at the Camp has grown steadily. On Tuesday, 14th about 200 men arrived from the Shoreham-by-Sea Rest Camp. The Command Depot Band escorted the contingent through Ampthill. These men are at No.9 Command Depot to facilitate their recovery from injury and wounds. They will follow a programme of rehabilitation and retraining. Those men who regain physical fitness will be drafted back to resume service at the Front.

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News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front 

Sadly, Mr and Mrs F. Smith of Milton Bryan have received confirmation that their son Frederick has been killed. 17777 Lance Corporal F.W. Smith has been missing in action since October 12th.

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Bedfordshire Times – November 10, 1916

Actions in the The Somme region have been taking place since 1 July 1916 when the Allied Offensive opened – more. On November 18th the Allied scout parties discovered that German troops had withdrawn from their frontline positions. An expected quiet occupies the sector after weeks of attrition.

The Battles of The Somme have gravely affected the Ampthill Camp – we know that in the 141 day offensive 228 recruits have been killed in action or died of their wounds – more. This is one tenth of the 2,235 local volunteers who passed out of the Ampthill Camp upon completion of infantry soldier training.

This month 54 Ampthill recruits have been killed in action or died of wounds. Of these 37 men died on November 13th in an Allied operation with the Bedfords’ 4th Battalion by the North Bank of the River Ancre.

War diary – Bedfordshire Regiment, 4th Battalion

The Battalion advanced with the remainder of the Brigade at 6.45 am and sustained heavy casualties among Officers and NCOs in and near the enemy front line from a strongpoint established between enemy front line and second line which had been passed over by the leading Brigades. Battalion advanced to enemy second line and from there parties pushed forward to Station Road and beyond. In the evening all available men were withdrawn and refitted.” 

Source: http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/4thbn/4thbtn1916diary.html

  • Casualties on November 13 – all Bedfords’ 4th Battalion Killed in Action

19596 Private Herbert T. BROOKER (21) of Wrestlingworth
23712 Private James W. BROWN (27) of Northill
28738 Private Elijah BROWN of St. Neots
20433 Private Charles T. CLACK (29) of Warboys
23066 Private Percy T. CLARK (20) of Flamstead
23393 Private Ernest CLARK of Hitchin
19399 Private George W.COOTE of Royston
23246 Private Henry T. DIGGINS (19) of Maulden
23812 Private John DYSON of Luton
23123 Private William H. FOOTE (24) of Bedford
23272 Private Albert GEORGE of Kempston
23782 Private William GREEN of Bassingbourne
23372 Acting Sergeant Charles GUDGIN (19) of Clophill
25127 Private Frederick G. HARRIS (19) of Campton
23465 Private Albert HARVEY (28) of Wormley
23614 Private George A. HAYNES (20) of Wootton
23268 Lance Corporal Arthur HILL (20) of Barton
23301 Private Herbert HOLLIMAN (38) of Chipperfield
22967 Lance Corporal Sidney B. IZZARD (22) of Maulden
23310 Private Fred KILBY (27) of Luton
23617 Private John W. KINGSTON of Kempston
23295 Private William G. KITSON (29) of Berkhamsted
23752 Private Arthur E. KNIGHT of Souldrop
23111 Private William H. MARSTON (28) of Old Warden
23730 Private Percy S. MARTIN (21) of Luton
23518 Private Reginald MOSS (21) of Stevenage
23581 Private Melburne MUSKETT of Olney
22863 Private William F. NEWBURY (30) of Woburn
22856 Private John S. OAKLEY of St Albans
23625 Private Harry ROWLETT (25) of Biggleswade
23595 Private George SAVAGE (19) of Cranfield
22976 Private Arthur J. SEARS of Irchester
23621 Private Walter J. WATSON of Watford
23189 Private Herbert C. WEBB (23) of Beadlow
23458 Private Walter J. WELCH (31) of Kimpton
22168 Private William WILKIN of Leagrave
23543 Private Ernest WRIGHT (20) of Hitchin

  • Other casualties in November

19523 Private Sidney WOODS of Bulbourne Died of Wounds on November, 3
22903 Private Philip W. EVANS (25) of Cranfield Died of Wounds on November, 7
22887 Private William J. ANDERSON of Weston Killed in Action on November, 12
23496 Private John RADFORD (19) of Luton Died of Wounds on November, 14
20006 Private Stanley ANGELL (23) of Breachwood Green Killed in Action on November, 16
18688 Private Albert S. HOLLOWAY (31) of Chenies Bottome Died of Wounds on November, 16
19708 Private Ralph MABBOTT (27) of Shefford Killed in Action on November, 16
27607 Private Arthur C. BOWLER (20) of Mansfield Died of Wounds on November, 17
23309 Private William COLEMAN (36) of Woburn Died of Wounds on November, 17
31529 Private William W. SHAMBROOK (20) of King’s Walden Killed in Action on November, 19
23500 Private Joseph WARD (24) of Luton Died of Wounds on November, 21
18556 Private Amos J. JEEVES (23) of Dunton Died of Wounds on November, 23
23305 Private William R. LEWIS (31) of Weston Died of Wounds on November, 23
23489 Private Sidney G. VASS (19) of Luton Died of Wounds on November, 24
31494 Private Harold W. CHESSUM (20) of Wrestlingworth Killed in Action on November, 25
20351 Private Charles W. WARD (20) of Stevenage Died of Wounds on November, 25
23055 Private William GATES (29) of Stevenage Died of Wounds at Home on November, 26

Source:

The Bedfordshire Standard. The original broadsheet is part of the Bedfordshire & Luton Archive.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
RBL Roll of Honour
Bedsatwar blog
Bedsathome blog

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

Next installment to be published on 31 December 2016….
Text 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 Christmas gift.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – Illustrated War News photos from 1915

On 21, July 1915 The Illustrated War News included 3 pages of photographs of the Bedfordshire Training Depot. The photographs provide a glimpse of what the Depot was like.

 

Officers on Duty at the Bedfordshire Training Depot

Officers on Duty at the Bedfordshire Training Depot

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Non-Commissioned Officers at the Bedfordshire Training Depot

A squad at drill in baynot-fighting

A squad at drill in baynot-fighting

A camp recreation hut for the rank and file

A camp recreation hut for the rank and file

The Master Cook engaged in ornamental gardening

The Master Cook engaged in ornamental gardening

Battalion cooks prepare a meal at field-kitchens of the type that were used at the front

Battalion cooks prepare a meal at field-kitchens of the type that were used at the front

Image

From an original newspaper.