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

July 1917 – news has been received the Government proposes to acquire and fell timber in the locality. The Government has selected the Coopers Hill Plantation which is fondly known and enjoyed as ‘The Pines,’ together with areas in the Millbrook district and 500 acres near Aspley Heath.

The Pines – Victorian beauty spot

Mr C. P. Hall, the agent to the Duke of Bedford, regretfully confirmed that the news is true; it also affects His Grace who is being pressed to supply extremely large quantities on the grounds of ‘national necessity.’

A special meeting of Ampthill Urban District Council was convened and unanimously resolved to protest strongly against the felling of The Pines on the grounds that it is one of the main features and chief attractions of the town, and provides the only open space in proximity to the town, to which the public have open access; and also on the grounds of the health-giving properties of the pines, particularly in cases of pulmonary affection, which has made Ampthill for many years a health resort for numberous visitors.

The Council also resolved to implore Local Members of Parliament to use their influence, and a petition will be opened for signature by the ratepayers.

1917.07.13 BS CFC

Bedfordshire Standard – July 13, 1917


News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

This month 12 Ampthill recruits have been killed in action or died of their battle wounds. Three of the boys – Privates Bransome, Elsdon and Ball – come from Luton. Private Stocker trained with the Bedfords’ and was killed serving with the 21st Machine Gun Gorps.

  • Casualties

23490 Private Percy A. REEVE (21) of Watford Killed in Action on July 5
20674 Private Arthur H. BUTCHER (24) of Milton Keynes Died of Wounds on July 6
19569 Private Sidney READ (22) of Orton Waterville Died of Wounds on July 7
22530 Private Joseph BRANSOME (33) of Luton Died of Wounds on July 8
18971 Private Ernest ELSDON (20) of Luton Killed in Action on July 12
22801 Lance Corporal Walter GOODMAN (32) of Marston Church End Killed in Action on July 16
23136 Private George A. KILBY (23) of Ramsey Hollow Killed in Action on July 16
30779 Private George HILLS (31) of Beechwood Green Killed in Action on July 20
18459 Private Robert W. AMBROSE (22) of Earith Killed in Action on July 28
22996 Private Alfred BALL (21) of Luton Killed in Action on July 29
18476 Private Frank JEFFS of Fenstanton Killed in Action on July 29
21602 Private Robert W. STOCKER (21) of Biggleswade Killed in Action on July 31

Source:

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

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

Next installment to be published on 31 August 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.

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

June 1917 – on Tuesday, June 12 the Ampthill Command Depot played an enjoyable game of cricket against Ampthill. A collection was also held in aid of the British Red Cross.

1917.06.15 BS ACD

Bedfordshire Standard – June 15, 1917

News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

This month eight Ampthill Camp boys have died at the Front.

Source:

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

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

Next installment to be published on 31 July 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.

 

 

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 while stocks last.

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

May 1917 – News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

Mr and Mrs Putman of Park Street, Ampthill have received news that on April 15 their son Richard was seriously injured by a shell burst. Surgeons amputated the shattered leg but on April 26 Richard succumbed at the No.7 General Hospital in St. Omer, France, and is buried close by. 23505 Private Richard Putman had served at the Front for nigh on a year.

There is also news of 27359 Private Percy Robinson (19) of Woburn Street, Ampthill who did his early training at the Ampthill Camp. Percy sustained serious head injuries whilst in the trenches with the Northamptonshire Regiment – he did not regain consciousness. Percy is remembered at St. Andrew’s Parish Church in Ampthill.

Percy Robinson – remembered at St. Andrew’s Church, Ampthill

1917.05.04 BS.jpg

Bedfordshire Standard – May 4, 1917

During May the Ampthill Park recruits have seen more action near Arras. Twenty-five of the boys have fallen or died of wounds.

One lad –19845 Private Edward H. Wiles of Ravensden – was awarded the Military Medal for his brave actions at Gavrelle on April 22/23, and has since died of his wounds.

19845 Wiles 1917

Source: The National Archives

Eight of the twenty-five chaps died on May 3 when the 7th Bedfords’ were part of an attack at Chérisy. Poor light delayed ZERO hour to 4:15am. The barrage commenced badly, being irregular. When the advance started the Battalion soon slightly lost direction the men being extended at about 12 paces could scarcely see each other. Regiments forces to the left also lost direction & crowded to the right, thus confusing the British attack & causing a further loss of direction. Four Tanks were used but these achieved little – two machines broke down and a third turned and came back through the British lines, which added to the confusion. Some Bedfords found themselves stranded in shell holes. In the evening a second attempt was made to attack but this was thwarted by an intense enemy barrage & the wire in front could not be forced. The whole lot fell back to original front line and held that during the night being relieved early in the morning by the Northants taking over. (Source: war diary)

Two boys – 18858 Private Thomas Andrews and 23749 Private Birty Johnson – died at home of their war wounds and are buried in Blighty.

Source:

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

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

Next installment to be published on 30 June 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.

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 while stocks last.

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

April 1917 – News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

Mr and Mrs William have received tragic confirmation that one of their sons has been killed. In the Somme region on August 9, last 26703 Private Thomas J. Money was reported as missing in action.

1917-4-20-bs-george-money

Bedfordshire Standard – April 20, 1917

After a quiet Spring the Bedfords’ have seen action in the allied offensive at Arras in France. Eighty-four Ampthill Recruits have been killed – 35 of the boys fell in the April 23rd attack at La Coulotte. One of these chaps – 26708 Private William J. SMITH of Dunstable – was awarded the Military Medal for his galant actions.

36186944_unknown

Source: The National Archives at Kew

Lieutenant Geoffrey de Cateret Millais survived the action and has been recommended to receive the Military Cross for “cool courage at LA COULOTTE on the 23rd inst. Though lying out in a shell hole all day a short distance from German wire when he was continually fired at with M.G. and Minnenwerfen which became intense and his retiring a problem, he despatched [?] later despite the fact that he knew this would draw attention to his position. One of the men with him was wounded. He also sent back two messages by power buzzer and was unable to withdraw until night” – war diary.

On April 29 ten Ampthill recruits were killed in action with the 4th Bedfords’ at the Battle of Oppywood. The Battalion attacked at dawn & captured its objective, was counter attacked and driven out and recaptured trench and consolidated it about 11.0 A.M. The trench was shelled heavily by German artillery all day – war diary.

Fifty-nine of these 83 Ampthill recruits have no known grave.

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 May 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.

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 while stocks last.

WWI – Bedfordshire Training Depot in Ampthill Park – the Medlock brothers of Wrestlingworth

Albert and Alfred James Medlock were brothers. Before the outbreak of war both lived in Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire where they followed the family tradition and worked as farm labour. In 1915 the brothers enlisted at Ampthill and trained at the Bedfordshire Training Depot.

Private 22099 Albert Medlock was drafted to the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. Private 23539 Alfred J. Medlock joined the 4th Battalion. Both were posted to fight with the British Expeditionary Force.

Albert (29) was wounded and cleared back to England. On October 14, 1916 he died at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital at Netley, and is buried in the North-West corner of St. Peters Churchyard in Wrestlingworth.

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Albert (29) was wounded and cleared back to England. On October 14, 1916 he died at the Royal Victoria Military Hospital at Netley, and is buried in the North-West corner of St. Peters Churchyard in Wrestlingworth.

Six months on his younger brother Alfred (25) was killed in action (April 20, 1917) at Arras.

It is hard to imagine parents Mr & Mrs  Jonah Medlock receiving one fateful War Office telegram, let alone two. Albert and Alfred left two sisters, Clara (1886-1923) and Rosina (1888-1956).

Source:

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

Www.bedfordshireregiment.co.uk

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.

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 while stocks last.

 

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

March 1917

News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front

This month we have lost another 8 Ampthill Recruits. Seven of these died of their wounds, four of them on home soil after being repatriated.

Source:

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

Next installment to be published on 30 April 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.

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 while stocks last.

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

February 1917 – a detachment of the Royal Engineers Signals Company is presently stationed in Ampthill. A successful whist drive and concert has taken place at the National School in Bedford Street, with several of the prizes kindly given by people in the town.

1917-2-2-bs

Bedfordshire Standard – February 2, 1917

News of Ampthill Park recruits at the Front 

This month 36 Ampthill Recruits have been killed – 34 of them on the Western Front. The main action – map –  happened on February 11 at Miraumont near the River Ancre in Northern France. Two companies were engaged to attack the German positions. At Zero Hour 9pm the allied artillery laid down a barrage lifting gradually until 9:30pm. The Bedfords’ then advanced but were temporarily held up on the left flank by barbed wire and heavy machine gun fire. This was dealt with and by early hours of February 12 the objective gained, line straightened out and posts consolidated. Source: 4th Battalion War Diary

Two Ampthill recruits – Private West and Pateman – have been killed in Iraq where they were serving with Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force. On June 26, 1916 these men were transferred from the Camp with 50 others to serve with the South Wales Borderers, and issued with new Service Number.

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 March 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.

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 while stocks last.