Brocton Camp, Cannock Chase

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Date:1917 - 1918 (c.)

Description:A postcard view of “F” and “G” Battalion Lines at Brocton Camp. On the reverse it says, “F & G Lines a view of part of Brocton Camp, the home of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade”.

In order to differentiate between the two Camps (Brocton Camp and Rugeley Camp) on Cannock Chase and no doubt make it easier for mail distribution from family and or friends, Brocton’s 20 Battalion Lines were alphabetically from A-T whilst Rugeley Camps were numbered 1-20. With approximately 20,000 men in each Camp it would have made it much easier to locate each soldier as the address would have been Battalion Line and individual Hut number.

“F” and “G” Lines were on the north-eastern slopes of Old Acre Valley and from the postcard you can see the small foot bridges over the many small streams that would have cascaded down each side of the valley after the removal of the heather scrub. You can still see to this day (December 2019) when walking on the paths the large concrete “storm” gullies that were laid to remove most of the heavy rainfall into Old Acre Brook. In the foreground, the large white huts were occupied by the Officers whilst on the hill behind the dark huts were for the sergeants and lower ranks. Electricity poles meant instruction and study could be carried out during the darker months within the huts. Electricity was generated by the power station sited on the ridge above, alongside the bore holes that provided fresh water.

Different providers sold numerous postcards for the soldiers to send home, this one, No. 126 shows how many were printed and provide a vital insight into understanding how the Camp would have looked.

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Image courtesy of: The Arthur Lloyd Collection

Donor ref:A Lloyd-100a (232/39913)

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