M and N line huts along Old Acre Valley, Brocton Military Camp

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Date:1916 - 1918 (c.)

Description:This view of Brocton camp shows two types of accommodation hut, those for officers and those for enlisted men. The officers each had their own stove and the photograph shows the hut in the foreground with several chimneys . The huts in the distance were the huts for the ordinary soldiers and they had to share one stove which was located in the centre of the hut.

Cannock Chase had been used as a military training ground since the 1870s. During the First World War two military camps were built on the Chase - Brocton Camp, which was located near to Anson's Bank, and Rugeley Camp, which extended along Penkridge Bank. The two camps were separated by the Sherbrook Valley.

Brocton Camp provided troops with canteen facilities, a bank, post office, shops and even a theatre. A standard gauge railway, built by West Cannock Colliery Company, carried food and other supplies around the camp to the troops stationed there. Soldiers who died in the camp, through wounds received in France, accidents or illness, were buried in the military cemetery to the south of the camp. Many died during the influenza epidemic of 1918.

After the war the soldiers left and the huts were sold. In the 1930s gravel workings covered large areas of the site, but today some traces of the camp still exist.

The alternate view is a digitally colourised version of the image.

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Donor ref:13_111r (215/33516)

Source: Mr Jake Whitehouse

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