Soldiers and WAACs at Brocton Military Camp,

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Date:1916 - 1917 (c.)

Description:Four members of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) with a sergeant from the Army Service Corps (ASC). On the front row are two officers and a young boy. The officer on the right holds a Staffordshire Bull Terrier by the collar. Gladys Harvey, who worked in the canteen, can be seen on the far right of the back row. The alternate image is a digitally colourised version of the image.

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, 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:P95.004.0007 (215/581)

Source: Mr Jake Whitehouse

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