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Remembered Today:

Australian Camps in Britain


montbrehain
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I have 3 postcards of Australian camps in Britain that I have yet to identify. Obviously the camps were used by British troops prior to the Australians arrival. I think 2 may be of Monte Video camp at Weymouth in Dorset. (the one with the horse and cart) and another purely because it was the same postcard producer on the back. But I am not sure . Any ideas ? thanks "MO"

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looking close at the sign in bottom pic, It doesn't magnify well but seems to say HQ No4 ??????? . Does that help any "MO"

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The bottom image makes me think of postcards i have seen of Sutton Veny?

Have a look at this site:

http://www.suttonveny.co.uk/1st_World_War/1st_world_war.html

Heaps of images but no matches that i could find. Excellent site regardless.

Where did you get the images?

If from a relative who served than an obvious suggestion being check service record - but i don't think you need me to tell you that.

Cheers, David.

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The bottom image makes me think of postcards i have seen of Sutton Veny?

Cheers, David.

Mm. It made me think of Hurdcott, west of Salisbury, if only because I've images of part of that camp alongside the main Shaftesbury-Salisbury road, and the road in Montbehrain's bottom image looks wider than that in the average camp. But I wouldn't bet any money on it.

The embedded rail track in the middle card provides a clue, and would seem to eliminate all the Wiltshire camps; many had rail sidings running through them, but none that I know of was embedded (apart from a short stretch in Tidworth Barracks - which were of brick, in contrast to the wooden huts shown).

A search through the excellent Australian War Memorial photo archive might provide some matches. That was the source for Aley's card. It would mean entering individual camp names in the search box but, as I've indicated, you probably wouldn't need to bother with Wiltshire.

Montbehrain, you say that the card producers' names are on the back; what are they?

Moonraker

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hello David and thanks for the link , I had not seen that before. I have spent many hours walking around Sutton Veny over the years (and many other Australian camp sites too) . I don't think its Sutton Veny. But Moonrakers suggestion of Hurdcott does sort of ring a bell. I have collected AIF themed postcards for over 20 years and amongst them have a fair few camps. I thought the postcards I posted were named but unfortunately 2 are not, and just say YMCA series. The one that may be Hurdcott was taken by photographers DEACON and JAY. (does this help MOONRAKER ?) I still think the first 2 maybe Monte Video camp. Maybe one day I can confirm it somehow. I attach Some more pics that may be of interest. The then and now shot is from a series of Sutton Veny cards. The "now" shot is almost 20 years old itself ! "MO"

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... The one that may be Hurdcott was taken by photographers DEACON and JAY. (does this help MOONRAKER ?) I still think the first 2 maybe Monte Video camp. Maybe one day I can confirm it somehow. I attach Some more pics that may be of interest. The then and now shot is from a series of Sutton Veny cards.

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Not really! Deacon & Jay had a store at Durrington Camp (part of the Lark Hill complex), close to the camp cinema, but there weren't any trees there in TGW. I have just one card published by them, showing ANZAC troops. It could well be that Deacon & Jay had branches in other camps, but not, I think, at Hurdcott and Fovant (which, curiously, seem not have had a rash of stores and shack shops that appeared in other Wiltshire camps).

I was a little surprised that you attributed your "then & now" shots to Sutton Veny. Though the "then" postcard is a bit small, its style - and indeed the huts - remind me more of Codford, just down the road; there the New Zealander Aotearoa Club produced a series of sepia-ish cards showing NZ troops.

Moonraker

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Moonraker, Why surprised ? It is Sutton Veny 110%. And that photo is the exact same spot. As I said it is part of a series of Sutton Veny cards (published by Hibberd Bros). I also have a booklet on Greenhill House. Which (through invite) I have also visited to do then and now shots.

I have walked the Codford area often , and have postcards posted from and of there too. as you probably know there are (or were) still a few huts around Codford St Peter.

Looking at the pic with the embedded rail line, I think its only embedded because it crosses the road. I have some cards of Longbridge Deverill showing a rail line, Could this be just one of the spurs you mention ?

Do you know when you leave Fovant and head back towards Salisbury, the picture you said looks a bit like Hurdcott does indeed look like an area on the left just before Hurdcott farm I wonder ?

"MO"

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Moonraker, Why surprised ? It is Sutton Veny 110%. And that photo is the exact same spot. As I said it is part of a series of Sutton Veny cards (published by Hibberd Bros). I also have a booklet on Greenhill House. Which (through invite) I have also visited to do then and now shots.

I have walked the Codford area often , and have postcards posted from and of there too. as you probably know there are (or were) still a few huts around Codford St Peter.

Looking at the pic with the embedded rail line, I think its only embedded because it crosses the road. I have some cards of Longbridge Deverill showing a rail line, Could this be just one of the spurs you mention ?

Do you know when you leave Fovant and head back towards Salisbury, the picture you said looks a bit like Hurdcott does indeed look like an area on the left just before Hurdcott farm I wonder ?

"MO"

1. I guess your reference point for the "then & now" pics is what appears to be a house in the "then" background and is just discernable behind the trees in the "now" photo? Presumably the soldiers in your "then" PC are wearing Australian slouch hats, rather than the "lemon-squeezer" shape of the New Zealanders.

2. Hibberd Brothers had premises in both Sutton Veny and Codford, and much of their work was published under other people's names. I've cards with their own imprint of Codford and Heytesbury.

3. Your cards of Longbridge Deverill (better known as Sand Hill, presumably because this was shorter and simpler) showing a rail line are very desirable (ie I'm envious). There were railway sidings running through most of the Salisbury Plain camps, but not Heytesbury or Hurdcott.

4. Another Forum member is far more knowledgeable about the Fovant/Hurdcott topography than I, and she may voice an opinion about whether your PC might be close to Hurdcott Farm.

5. Your aren't one of the two or three people who give me grief when I bid for Sutton Veny cards on eBay, are you? :lol:

Moonraker

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MOONRAKER, yes that house was one reference but the big one is Greenhill House that is in the next pic in the series , taken from further down the road. If you stand on the left and look through/over the hedge you can still see Greenhill House (now known as Sutton Veny House and is an old peoples rest home) . I attach another pic from the series. This one shows the Lodge (or Gatehouse) to Greenhill house and is on the Warminster Road. It took me ages to find these spots. There are about 10 cards in the series. You are welcome to copies of Anything I have . As a matter of fact if you,d like I could meet you out that way one Sunday and show you what cards I have ( and as I don't know if your male or female Ill bring the Mrs haha :D ) And as for ebay. I bought my cards years ago (I used to advertise !) Some of the prices are crazy too (some good cards though). "MO"

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[.

4. Another Forum member is far more knowledgeable about the Fovant/Hurdcott topography than I, and she may voice an opinion about whether your PC might be close to Hurdcott Farm.

Moonraker

When I first looked at the second photo my impression was that it was Hurdcott, Camp 7 on the FBS schematic map, as this backs onto woods like those. Hurdcott did not have a railway line - they used the Dinton to Fovant spur, the station being on the Fovant/Compton Chamberlayne border. If anyone finds out for sure do post the info. mamck.

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looking close at the sign in bottom pic, It doesn't magnify well but seems to say HQ No4 ??????? . Does that help any "MO"

AIF No 4 Command Depot was at Hurdcott.

Since my last post, I've tried to enlarge the Sutton Veny "then" PC, but didn't have any joy with the hats. The men appear to be hospital patients - one is on crutches.

Moonraker

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[.

4. Another Forum member is far more knowledgeable about the Fovant/Hurdcott topography than I, and she may voice an opinion about whether your PC might be close to Hurdcott Farm.

Moonraker

When I first looked at the second photo my impression was that it was Hurdcott, Camp 7 on the FBS schematic map, as this backs onto woods like those. Hurdcott did not have a railway line - they used the Dinton to Fovant spur, the station being on the Fovant/Compton Chamberlayne border.

Hurdcott was Command HQ No3.

If anyone finds out for sure do post the info. mamck.

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. As a matter of fact if you,d like I could meet you out that way one Sunday and show you what cards I have ( and as I don't know if your male or female Ill bring the Mrs haha :D )

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Shall email or PM you.

Moonraker

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Ok MOONRAKER. And MAMCK talking of Hurdcott, I do have a "now" shot of this but cant put my hand on it at the moment. Its a shame they are letting this one grow over, I feel like going up there on a moonlight night and re dig it myself :ph34r: But have you seen how big it is !"MO"

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AIF No 4 Command Depot was at Hurdcott.

Moonraker

What do you think ? I read it as HQ No 4 ????? depot . The print just wont let me scan any higher as it starts to lose definition . Hurdcott ?? I really hope so "MO"

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What about Wareham?

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Chris , there seem to be very few photographs (at least ones I have been able to buy) of Wareham (Worgrett hill , I think ?) camp. I have been down there and Visited the "Diggers" who are still there a few times. There is not much to see , even the local history museum did not seem to have much (on the camp that is ). The camp site is built on and very near to the hospital I believe. "MO"

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Worgret Hill is correct. In April 1917 No. 4 Command Depot was at Wareham and No 4 (D) Group was at Codford.

Chris Henschke

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Thanks Chris just when I thought we had it pinned down ....... <_< This is the only card I have that is verifiable to Wareham. "MO"

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Worgret Hill is correct. In April 1917 No. 4 Command Depot was at Wareham and No 4 (D) Group was at Codford.

Chris Henschke

Chris's statement appears to contradict my less precise earlier post in which I merely said that this depot was at Hurdcott. A Google led to several AIF soldiers' memoirs which refer to this being the case on December 29, 1917 and in February and September 1918, so one might guess the Depot moved from Wareham sometime in 1917. Which doesn't help Montbrehain!

(Pinpointing when AIF units moved from one English camp to another is bad enough. But Australian camps in the UK had AIF postmarks, whose number - 1, 2, 3 etc - indicated the camp from which the letter had been sent. The trouble is that these numbers were switched around from time to time and the two main authorities sometimes disagree which camp had what number when.)

Moonraker

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  • 14 years later...

Well I never!  Today a copy of the second card in the OP arrived in the post via eBay and on the back was scrawled "Dispersed at Fovant Camp 6-1-19".  And I've just bought a copy of the bottom card, which had no indication of the location save for the "Deacon & Jay" imprint. So I went through some thought processes not dissimilar to some of those I expressed above  and thought that it might show Hurdcott or Fovant. Deacon & Jay were based in Salisbury, with a shop at Durrington Camp (which was contiguous with Lark Hill). At £2.99 post free, it was a bargain. Then I did a bit more research, and Googling led me to this 2007 thread.

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  • 4 months later...

A photograph in the Australian War Memorial archives confirms that the card with the blow-up of the signboard is Hurdcott. The depot's war diaries are also available and reveal some minot details, such as the arrest at Codford of two soldiers accused of forging leave passes and railway warrants.

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