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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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May I add my contact details to the growing list of BBC local radio stations on this forum!

Along with colleagues around the country, I am researching WW1 stories with local roots for broadcast from next year.

BBC Radio Solent covers the Isle of Wight, Dorset and South Hampshire.

The project is called 'WW1 At Home'. It aims to tell the stories of local landmarks during WW1 - e.g. Royal Victoria hospital at Netley, shipwrecks off the Isle of Wight, German PoW camp near Dorchester. Some stories will be broadcast on BBC local radio and there will also be a searchable database on the BBC website with photos, etc.

I would love to hear from anyone with an idea for a story - my email address is marcus.white@bbc.co.uk

Thanks in anticipation,


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  • 3 weeks later...

Several ships moored in the Solent were used to house POWs (certainly in the winter 1914/15) - it would be interesting to know more about these.

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A couple of training camps linked to Salisbury Plain were just over the Wiltshire border in Hampshire: Tidworth Park and Park House. (The town of Tidworth straddles the county border, but the barracks were/are in Wiltshire.)

Graham Mark's Prisoners of War in British Hands during WWI has sections on PoW ships at Fareham Creek and off Ryde.

Mark also describes a transit PoW camp for officers at Bevois Mount and a camp for interned civilian seamen at Beech Abbey, Alton.

There was a substantial hospital for New Zealanders at Brockenhurst, where there is a significant number of war graves. Ten years ago - and perhaps to this day - an ANZAC Day ceremony was held in the village.

There were also large camps for American soldiers in the Morn Hill area east of Winchester.

There was a Portuguese labour camp in the New Forest, and a fireplace from one the huts remains as a memorial:



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Dorchester's and Winchester's contribution to the war included both providing a prison housing conscientious objectors. Winchester's clientele contained a number of the COs formally sentenced to death, but reprieved, and the poet Basil Bunting.. Winchester was also famed for the Winchester Whisperer, the rule-breaking magazine published by COs within the prison.

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I would not forget the youngsters from amongst the Osborne Royal Naval College Cadets on the IoW, many of who went to sea very young

... a not uncommon story: Midshipman Herbert Riley.. left Osborne for Dartmouth spring 1914 - one term there.. to sea on the HMS Aboukir at outbreak of war.. torpedoed Sept 22 1914 .. 'was last seen clinging with another midshipman, Stubbs, to a floating piece of wreckage. This was left to go to the assistance of a man who was calling for help. A short struggle took place, and all three disappeared.' [aged 15]

The Osborne Magazine [they must have copies at Osborne ..they have the cadet registers I have been told] is full of little stories of all kinds from the war years .. with some remarkable photos and drawings [amateur photography was clearly popular amongst cadets]

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Thanks for the replies so far - some really useful ideas there. My commissioned stories so far include the Winchester Whisperer and I will have a look at the other ones.

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I have some photographs (at work) from Haslar if you are interested - get in touch via PM.


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Dimbola Museum at Freswhater Bay plans an exhibition in autumn 1918 to celebrate the end of the war and we are looking for people from the Isle of Wight who have photographs that show any aspects of the war, at home, at sea or at the front. I'd love to hear from anyone who can help.



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  • 4 weeks later...

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