War Diaries Talk

Bath house

  • Stork by Stork

    This nice drawing is the Divisional bath house the Engineers have been building in Dec 1917 and Jan 1918 near Woesten (north of Ypres.) Going by the 10'-0" scale beside the sock dryer, the main building measures 100' x 110'.

    The diary said that the two sock dryers can dry 1,000 pairs per day.

    From what I can tell, a sandbag is a bag to hold your cap and boots while you're bathing. Is that right?

    What are the '3 numbers' in the 2nd line?

    Are the two 'Y.M.C.A. Marquees' for entertainment, like concerts, plays, movies...?

    There's a 'Baths Personnel' building and a 'YMCA Personnel' building- are those living quarters for the men who work there?


  • cyngast by cyngast moderator

    Great drawing! Thanks for posting it Stork!

    Yes, the sandbag was to hold cap and boots, to keep them all together probably, and the 3 numbers were probably to identify the bag, khaki pants and tunic that would be returned to the same man. They got clean underclothing, shirts, and the all-important dry socks after their shower. They didn't really get a bath here, but a shower. It was a faster and probably more hygienic way to move hundreds of men a day through the process.

    I'm not sure what the marquees are for, but the baths personnel hut is where a detachment from the field company or sanitary section, who operated the bath house, lived. The marquees might have been used for the purposes you suggest, or possibly a canteen or religious services.