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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

5 Privates marked P.B. departed for Base.


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Hello all,

Can anyone tell me what the above ("P.B") means? I'm trying to transcribe the August 1916 War Diary of the SLI and came across this entry.

Many thanks in advance.


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Hello Mabel

P B stans for Permanent Base (Details). These were the men at base depots and camps who were part of the permanent establishment, as distinct from those passing through for training or as reinforcements. They looked after stores and oversaw the cleaning and other housekeeping.

In most cases they were men medically downgraded, often as a result of wounds.

Most of these depots were concentrated at Etaples but there were a few around the other bases such as Havre, Rouen and Boulogne.


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