ANZAC Soldiers at Brocton Camp, Cannock Chase

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Date:October 1917

Description:ANZAC was the abbreviation for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps and was formed early in the conflict of the Great War answering the British Empire's call to arms.

The Expeditionary Force originally meant to go to England was diverted to Egypt. By 1917 they were in England and the New Zealand Rifle Brigade 5th Battalion (Training) were decamped to Brocton in order to train their fresh recruits in modern trench warfare. This postcard shows most if not all the inhabitants of Hut 20 on “I” Battalion Line which was adjacent to their Command Headquarters in “H” Lines. The number of trainees and staff fluctuated over the next two years as the movement of troops and fresh reinforcements arrived around the country and abroad. The number 648 on the postcard shows how many of these images were taken, the vast majority probably never to be seen today (December 2019).

On the reverse of this postcard the writer George Hall is letting someone know in Dundee his location at Brocton Camp with the 5th Reserve of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He mentions he is with the 28th Reinforcements which departed New Zealand in two ships on 14th & 26th July 1917. A total of 43 Reinforcements were sent during the war and by its end, over half of the eligible male population had embarked for the western front. Some men were born in Britain and returned to defend the mother country. George Hall may well have been visiting relatives, a friend or writing to his landlady in Dundee whilst on leave but judging by the date on the postcard he would not have long arrived in the country, normally in the port of Liverpool.

This postcard was franked on 13 October 1917 at Brocton Camp and sent to an address in Dundee, Scotland.

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Image courtesy of: The Arthur Lloyd Collection

Donor ref:A Lloyd-102a (232/39912)

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