War Diaries Talk


  • Stork by Stork

    Regarding the places listed in the 2nd column from the right, I've seen them mentioned in many, many diaries. Am I safe in assuming the following: they are places built by the Army close to the front where units can go when relieved from the trenches, for a few days rest and training before being sent back to the trenches. They have a kitchen, mess hall, bunks, latrines, baths, recreation area, training area, maybe a football field. They have a permanent staff to cook and clean.

    This is certainly a better arrangement than I've seen in other diaries, when units have to try to find shelter in local houses, churches and barns, with French citizens less than happy about their presence.


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    Yes, these are basically camps of huts, tents, or dugouts, or a combination of those, where the unit went to "rest" between tours in the front lines. Early in the war, the troops were more likely to be billeted in towns or farms, often in barns, while the officers generally, but not always, got better accommodations. As time went on, though, and it became apparent that the lines were not going to move very much, the Army built these camps to house the men.

    There were also camps to the west of Ypres and Poperinghe. The reason we have been seeing these particular camps on this chart is because all the diaries we have now are from the 16th and 36th Divisions and the battalions were all rotating in and out of these few camps.