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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Infantry Base Depots


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As far as the IBD's go, I am aware for example that 34 IBD travelled to Etaples from the north of England in 1917.

However all the metnions I have seen basically place them as a part of Etaples.

Do any diaries or administrative traces remain, and secondly, does anyone know about whether these IBD's had a kind of identity like battalion or regiment - at least in broad terms.

I've no idea what questions to be even asking about them, as I have no knowledge of them beyond them being a pool of soldiers that drafts were sent to the from to selected regiments.

Any help appreciated - however general.

with thanks


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My understanding of the Base Depots is that they were "GHQ" units. They reported to General Headquarters. They received men from the UK or from hospitals, etc. in France, and dispatched them to forward units. The depots, of course, had a certain number of their own personnel, but I believe that the men they processed remained on the books of their own regiments.

A easy way to check how they worked is to browse the war diaries of the Canadian Base Depots, which can be found here .

I presume all Depots kept similar records, but these are the only ones I know are easily available.

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Hi James

Thanks for this - they appear to have recorded their activity in much the same way as a regimental war diary.

The activities give a sense that they had an identity beyond purely an administrative grouping.

So it appears I shall now look into tracing the British ones if at all possible.



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