OF AMPTHILL CAMP
Kitchener, when Secretary of State for War, said:
any retired officer competent to train troops has not yet applied,
I hope he will communicate with me at the War office in writing."
Duke of Bedford applied and constructed in the space of two
months a hutted camp in Ampthill Park for the accomodation of
1,000 men. This camp was known as the Bedfordshire Training
Depot which, under the Duke's command, formed a unit of the
County Regiment and supplied drafts of men to six Bedfordshire
battalions of the regular army serving in France and Italy.
The recuiting area comprised Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and
you who pass in quest of happy hours,
Behold the price at which thoise hours were bought!
Strew here the gragrance of memorial flowers,
The silent tribute of a grateful thought."
thousand two hundred and thirty five officers and men joined
of their own free will under voluntary enlistment. Not a man
was absent from parade when this draft marched out of the camp
for the Front.
military service became law in 1916. Ampthill Park then ceased
to be a training camp for volunteers and became a depot in which
8069 men returning wounded and invalided from the Expeditionary
Force receieved remedial training.
thousand five hundred and forty three of these men returned
to the Front Line.
thousand sixe hundred and four men passed through the camp between
November 1914 and March 1919.
the Lord great and terrible and fight for your brethren, your
sons, your daughters, your wives and your homes"
stands the cross from that dread hour to this,
Like some bright star above the dark abyss,
Still through the vale the victor's prying eyes,
Looked down to bless our lesser camres."
cross overlooks the hollow down which 2235 officers and men
passed when, on completion of their training, they left the
camp at Ampthill to join the Battle Line in France. The Roll
of Honour on the base of this cross shows that seven hundred
and seven were destined never to return.
swallowed up in victory"
memory of seven hundred and seven officers, warrant officers,
non-commisisoned officers and men of the Bedfordshire Regiment,
who were trained at the Ampthill Camp, and who fell fighting
in the Great War of 1914-1918. This cross is erected by the
first commanding officer Herbrand XI Duke of Bedford.
love hath no man than this
that a man lay down his life for his friends"
you gathered rank on rank to war
As who had heard God's message from afar.
All you had hoped for, all you had you gave
To save mankind yourselves you scorned to save."
Valiant hearts who to your glory came,
through dust of conflict and through battle flame.
Tranquil you or your knightly virtue proved
Your memory hallowed on the land you loved."