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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

"Armstrong Hut"


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Has anyone heard of an "Armstrong Hut". My great uncle mentioned it in his diary as follows: 3 Ap. 1918 ......Had nice Armstrong Hut to share with Lt. Hughes, R.A.M.C.

My uncle was in the U.S. Army, but was attached to the 104th Field Ambulance as a physician. At this time, he was located near Merville at Estaires (if I am reading his writing correctly)

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The Armstrong hut probably owes its name to a Major in the War Office's Directorate of Fortifications and Works, which on August 12, 1914, was asked to submit plans for a standard hutted camp that could house one battalion at a war strength of 1,000 men. Having already done some preliminary work, the Directorate's design branch under Major R H O Armstrong produced plans within two days. These embraced seventeen different designs, including those for officers' and sergeants' messes, a recreation hut and a large central cookhouse with a dining-hall for a half-battalion on either side. The staple unit was a hut, 60 feet by 20 feet and with an average height of 10 feet, providing sleeping quarters for 24 men and an NCO. Forty such huts catered for a battalion's rank and file and could be built for an estimated £15,000. (In fact in February 1915 the Government was to claim an average actual cost that was lower, of £13 a man, of which £4 was for the hut, the rest for stores, lighting and recreational facilities.)

By August 17 Armstrong's proposals had been approved by the Army Council and a construction programme set under way.

I vaguely recall that Kitchener queried the need for the men (as opposed to officers and NCOs) needing a recreation hut but some brave soul stood up to him.

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