Can’t resist buying old Camberley stuff on eBay!
Can’t resist buying old Camberley stuff on eBay!
After my last post showing the camp, this one shows more of the German POWs themselves. They arrived at Frimley station (you can see the buffers in the last image) and were marched along the Chobham Road to the Frith Hill detention centre. The POWs numbers also contained Austrian and German civilians interred at the same time as their military compatriots. Injured soldiers were taken in motor vehicles along with the luggage.
The locals were out in force to see this impressive sight, and many presented the POWs with gifts of food and tobacco.
The Illustrated News article dated September 23rd 1914, states that a few days earlier some 1600 POWs had arrived at Aldershot and were transferred to the camp, which is now the site of Pine Ridge golf course.
The first image in this set, shows some POW’s waiting at Frimley station before their march. This postcard was used, and had been posted by George Nyren Mugridge to his wife, Alice, in Portsmouth.
In it he says
"Dear A, I will answer letter tomorrow. This is some of the nuts what we look after.
After the start of the First World War it became necessary to construct camps around Britain to hold the thousands of German soldiers captured by our soldiers. One of these was here in Deepcut, on Frith Hill, north of the main barracks. The site is now part of Pine Ridge Golf course and the development of the area for this purpose, and also due to the temporary nature of the camp, means there is no physical evidence of the POW camp remaining.
There is very little information available about any of the POW camps in Britain, and even fewer photographs. The fact that so many images of the Frith Hill camp suggest that this camp was one of the earliest, and before any restrictions were introduced on images of Prisoners of War.
The German POW’s were obviously of great interest to the locals (and I’ll show more of that in a later post) and the last postcard above had a message which is testament to that, dated Oct 1914
“Dear Herbert (Herbert was Herbert Chick, a butcher’s son inAxminster, found on the 1911 census)
How would you like to come & see these German prisoners? Some came in on Sunday. I thought this would do for your album. Tell your Dad and Mum that we are likely to be shifted at any time and to any place. I saw some of the famous Death’s Head Hussars, such a pretty dress & smart men also. I went and saw the camp. All are allowed to get quite close, providing do not touch the barbed wire. Remember me to all. With Kind Regards, from Dick.”
Getting quite close was something that would be a short-lived privilege. I also found a series of letters from a soldier that passed through the camp in mid 1915. He references an incident that led to changes at the camp.
“There are a lot of German prisoners here, one of East Lancs killed a German with a pick, the German said nasty things to him, so he give him a pat over the railings with his pick, he died the next morning, now there is a hundred yards space between them and us.”
The conditions at the POW camps in Britain were far more hospitable for the German soldiers in comparision to the conditions in the German camps. A German appointed inspector found no ill-treatment, and said that Germans at the Frith Hill camp “have their own police, even their own secret police”
There were a few deaths of German prisoners however, and they were buried in the graveyard of St Barbara’s garrison church in Deepcut, until they were disinterred in the 60’s and moved to a cemetery somewhere in the Midlands.
I need some help with this post…..
This was a set of 3 photo postcards acquired via eBay, three images of a group of young soldiers apparently based at Deepcut in 1911 (postmark on one of the postcards was Aug 16 11. At least two of the soldiers appear in all three shots, and 2 of 3 postcards are addressed to a Miss M Gibbs in Euston Square, London. I would imagine these would be shots sent to a family member or sweetheart at home. A search on Ancestry.co.uk suggests that Miss M Gibbs was Matilda, a 19 year old dressmaker, daughter of Frederick Gibbs a house painter originally from Salford.
The badges show they are definitely Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment, but I’m not sure whether the epaulette badge shows 4th or 14th battalion. They appear to be communication experts given the equipment they are pictured with.
I’d love for anyone to confirm a few things;
a) Which battalion they belong to
b) Were they definitely at Deepcut in 1911, and if not where are these pictures taken?
c) What would their job have been in wartime?
Four views of buildings and soldiers around the Blackdown barracks at Deepcut. There had been a military presence in this area since the late 19th century, and they were formalised when the barracks were built after the turn of the century.
The water tower on display was just as impressive back then if a slightly less space age design back then!
A couple of views of the south end of Deepcut Village, also the lowest part of the village), Lake Road and the railway bridge.
Here’s a link to the Google StreetMap view of the same view up Lake Road, you can see the two houses are still there, even if their chimneys aren’t… http://goo.gl/maps/MAo0i
I believe the ‘Deepcut Bridge’ shown in the second picture is the old railway bridge - facing north (based on the shape of the road beyond the bridge. It could easily be the old canal bridge though. If anyone can shed any further light on which it is, please contact me via the ‘Ask Me Anything’ button on the right of the page.
St Oswald’s Roman Catholic Church, Deepcut
This church was just further north of St Barbara’s Garrison Church. It was dismantled in 1998, and the land it stood on for the time being remains undeveloped., behind the fence alongside Deepcut Bridge Road. The dropped kerb opposite Alfriston Road, marks the entrance to the church.
Garrison Church Deepcut
St Barbara’s Garrison Church Deepcut
An abridged version of John Morley-Clarke’s (former Assistant Curator of the RAOC Museum) account - the garrison church was named St Barbara’s after the patron saint of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Built at Deepcut in 1901it served units stationed at Blackdown and Deepcut. In 1905 one acre of land adjoining the church was consecrated and Daisy Mason, the young daughter of a soldier was the first person buried there followed by members of various Regiments stationed locally as can be seen from existing gravestones. Electric light was installed in 1911, the first marriage held in 1934 and following WW2 various commemoration services with the Church continuing in regular use today.
The Church is now a Grade 2 listed building. It is one of the larger “tin tabernacles” complete with stained glass windows.
I’ve also posted a shot of the church from this winter, St Bab’s always looks stunning against the snow. http://flic.kr/p/dNrPVB
St Bab’s is a real icon of Deepcut, and it is great to know that it will be remaining despite the rest of the barracks disappearing for the new development. It is imperative that we retain this link to the roots of the village. It is perhaps somewhat ironic that it is a ‘temporary’ building that will be among the few structures to remain a permanent reminder of Deepcut’s military history.
1) View North up Deepcut Bridge Road., including potentially the old village cinema on the corner with Woodend Road
Difficult to see that this one is pretty well spot on matched up, only the middle building still remains (now Deepcut Garage). The building nearest is now flats and sits a little way back from the original. The little girl is standing on what is now grass in front of the new building.
The smaller buildings at the far end have been replaced by new
buildings, probably around the mid-thirties.
2) The view south along Deepcut Bridge Road, 1908 v 2011
Deepcut Bridge Road - facing south c.1908
You can see the Post Office (postmaster Mr Finch in 1911, and probably here- you can see his name on the back of the Blackdown Road postcard), and the cycle shop
Second picture is from a few steps further back. The building in the foreground is a cinema, and is approximately where Deepcut Garage and the entrance to Woodend Road is now.