Carpenters and Sherwood Foresters at Brocton Military Camp

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Date:1914 - 1918 (c.)

Description:The soldiers being trained at the two military camps on Cannock Chase lived in prefabricated huts. These huts were under construction from late 1914 and were largely built by civilian workmen who were apparently attracted to the job by the good wages. The huts were constructed in wood with a door in each end and windows down the side. The first troops began to move into the huts in early 1915.

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.

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Donor ref:(215/33518)

Source: Mr Jake Whitehouse

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