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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

MGC Base Depot Camiers

Tim Hill

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Hi All

I started researching my GF, 26692 L/Cpl Charles Elcock on 113 then 22 Coy's MGC some years ago and thanks to some good pointers from members here I've found out a whole lot about him which I am now trying to sequence and write into a single narrative to share with the rest of the family, using images where I can get them to show places he went and actions that he saw.

One area where I am struggling though is the MGC Base Depot at Camiers. I can find it mentioned in literally hundreds of places on the web etc, all saying pretty much the same thing, i.e. that their main depot was at Belton Park and that they had a depot at Camiers, and there are countless references in other men's stories that they 'were posted to Camiers on arrival in France and then went onto active service in.....' but that is about it. I haven't really been able to find anything about the Camiers Depot itself, nor can I find any images taken there other than a panoramic of the whole area where the MGC Depot is just an indistinct patch!

Such narrative as there is always seems to say that men were posted there to finish training and prepare for active service, but Charlie's unit, 113 MGC at that time, seems to have sailed to Le Havre on 16th May 1916, stayed overnight at No 1 Rest Camp at Sainte-Adresse (presumably in the old Fort there) and then moved on the next day (presumably by train although the diary doesn't say so) to the Merville area, bypassing Camiers altogether, and they were in the trenches at Le Drumez by the 26th. In essence they seem to have got off the boat and gone almost straight to the front with minimal training in France - was that unusual I wonder?

The only record that I have of him actually being at Camiers is when he left No 1 Convalescent Camp at Boulogne at the end of July 1916 after being wounded at the Battle of Mametz Wood, and being posted to Camiers where he stayed until early September before being posted to 22 MGC - I assume that he would have done more training while he was there.

I would like to find out more about Camiers - does anyone know of any written resources about, or images of, the Depot?

Kind regards


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