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Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2017, 14:55:11 »
That "Royal Engineers Bridging Camp" was still at Wouldham in 1945. Although not occupied by the army, it was more or less empty and was lent to the Medway Scouts Association for a Summer week-end camping, with lots of bridge building and other activities. I'll always remember that one day we had steamed ginger pudding; it was strong enough to blow your head off! I asked one of the cookhouse lads, what happened there and he replied that they'd put in the stated quantity but there was some over, so they put that in as well! Note for any budding cooks reading this, stick to the menu.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 18:25:30 »
Chatham News - Saturday 06 August 1870

OFFICER OF ENGINEERS DROWNED.
A fatal disaster occurred at Wouldham to a young officer of Engineers on Monday—Lieutenant Charles Edward Turner, who was drowned while attempting, with several brother officers, to swim to a pontoon raft—the officers had heavy clothes on, the weather was stormy, and the swim for amusement ended in the death of Lieutenant Turner, who became exhausted, and, though his brother officers made strenuous efforts to save him, he sank, and the body was not recovered for three-quarters hour, when of course life was extinct.
The inquest was held before T. Hills, Esq., Coroner, at the Queen's Head, Brompton, on Tuesday evening.
Mr. H. Williams was foreman of the jury.
Lieut. Wm. Peacock, R.E., said the deceased was a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, and was 21 years of age; he had been lately stationed at Wouldham, where there is a camp for instruction in pontooning. There were number officers and men there. Witness with deceased and other officers were yesterday (Monday) the hard at Wouldham. Some pontoon rafts had been made in the middle of the river, and the deceased with witness and two other officers, Lieuts. Maxwell and Dobson, proceeded to swim to the raft with their clothes on. The tide was running very strong. Witness succeeded in getting on to the raft, after Lieuts. Maxwell and Dobson. As he was climbing on to the raft, Mr. Dobson told him there was something wrong with Mr. Turner, and at the same moment Mr. Maxwell jumped off the raft into the water. The deceased was swimming at the time. Witness then jumped in the water to their assistance, but did not afterwards see the deceased. When he got Mr. Maxwell, he said deceased had sunk, and at the time there was a dreadful storm raging, and they could hardly see a foot before them in the water. Saw Mr. Maxwell close the deceased soon as he jumped off the raft. The raft was about thirty yards from the shore when they proceeded to swim to it, and deceased started from the shore below the raft, so that he had to swim against the tide to get to it. It was not at all part of their practice to swim off to the raft. They had been looking on at the men for some time and it was simply a matter choice that they swam off to the raft. Had seen the deceased swim well in his clothes. They all had heavy clothes on at the time; the deceased had flannel trousers on, and over them a pair of canvass trousers. Did not hear the deceased call for help. The storm had commenced when they went into the water.
By the Jury—Did not see from what point the deceased got into the water.
By the Coroner—The deceased went into the water close to where they went in, as they were all together.
Lieutenant Frederick Maxwell, R.E., was at Wouldham hard on Monday, as described by Lieut. Peacock ; also with Lieut. Dobson. Witness got first on the raft, and was watching Mr. Peacock being helped on it, when he heard observation from some one, which made him turn round, and just at that moment saw the deceased in the water, and said, “Peacock, I don’t think can quite manage this." Witness immediately went Into the water to his assistance and swam towards him as quick as he could. Got hold of him as he was sinking; he was very heavy with his clothes. The deceased got hold of his arm; witness said to him “Don’t take hold of me," and he let go, they then tried swim towards the shore. He endeavoured to assist him, and once was enabled to get his head above water. The deceased caught hold of him again, and to relieve himself he (witness) slipped out of his hold, when he sunk like a stone and did not come up again. It occurred about one o’clock, and the body the deceased was not recovered for about three-quarters of an hour. It was no part of their duty to swim off to the raft, and was simply matter of their own choice. A boat came to their assistance but not till deceased had sunk and too late to save him. Thought the water was about ten feet deep. They have drags at Wouldham, and found the body of deceased them.
Mr. Thomas William Fox, surgeon, R.E., said he was on duty at Fort Pitt, and was sent for on Monday to proceed to Wouldham. A sapper came in great haste for him and he went immediately. On arriving there found the body of the deceased on the river bank apparently lifeless. Efforts had been made to restore animation before he arrived, and as far as he could judge in the best manner; although it appeared against all hope these efforts were continued for some hours under his direction, but without any effect whatever. He believed it would have been quite hopeless had he been there at the time the body was first recovered. The modical officer in attendance at the camp had left before the accident occurred. It was simply a case of drowning.
The Coroner said had elicited all that was required to elucidate the cause of the accident. The swimming to the raft was not part of their duty, and it had been simply a matter of choice. The clothes of the deceased evidently became so heavy by being saturated with water that he could not reach his destination. He was a young man highly respected all who knew him.
The Jury highly praised the conduct of Lieut. Maxwell in his heroic endeavours to save the deceased.
Verdict—"Accidental death."

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Offline oldbowler

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 19:28:13 »
My father was stationed at Wouldham Camp, from about 1950-1953 ?? He was a Seniour Quarter Master Sergeant in the Royal Engineers.   We lived in, I believe, the only Married Quarter in the Camp ?? It was a wooden bungalow, situated next to the gate into the Camp, we had
a chemicle toilet in the garden, very cold in the winter !! I walked down the hill to the school, lots of memories and lots of stories !!

Offline Maid of Kent

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 22:19:41 »
I am working with others to transcribe the Letters of Juliana King to her son in the 1880/90s and in one she says ' Teddie is going to Wouldham next Saturday - which he does not like "so very much" ' (letter dated 26th Oct 1887) I was able to tell them where Wouldham was, but the reason why seemed unclear - possibly it was to see relations or   ....? But this Camp might be the answer - can anybody enlighten me on it.

Interestingly, Juliana's husband was the Rector of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex and former curate at Stone-by-Dartford and his father Walker King was Archdeacon of Rochester.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 21:17:52 »
In the Spring of 1945, Medway Scouts were allowed to use the RE's bridging camp at Wouldham which was vacant. I was on a week-end where the Senior Scouts of a dozen or so Troops ( I was 43rd Medway) had competitions of bridge building (NOT over the Medway!), first aid, etc. etc. I'm sure we were in tents as I would have remembered Nissen huts. That site was interesting with the bridge across, the Medway doesn't look as wide as I remember, thanks. Dave Smith

merc

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 12:05:30 »
Thanks Conan, I was looking at that earlier. Very interesting :)

Offline conan

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 11:47:38 »
There's a lot of stuff about Wouldham camp on this link

http://www.wouldhamvillage.com/campandbridge.html
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

merc

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Re: Wouldham Camp
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 15:25:06 »
The Liverpool Mercury - Tuesday, July 25, 1876

Sapper Briggs, of the 36th Company Royal Engineers, stationed at Wouldham Camp, was drowned while bathing on Saturday afternoon. This was the second fatal bathing accident at the camp during the week.  Bathing is not allowed in the river, but troops are continually disobeying orders.

merc

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Wouldham Camp
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 15:09:04 »
The Morning Post - Wednesday, July 29, 1874

A detachment of the Royal Engineers is now engaged in carrying out various improvements at the Royal Engineer Camp at Wouldham. The pontoon hard is to be extended, and two large wells are to be sunk in order to ensure a better supply of water during the time the men are under instruction.

 

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