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Author Topic: Shorncliffe Camp  (Read 6996 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 15:00:13 »
The Times – 4th August 1936

A fatal accident occurred in a barrack-room at Somerset Barracks, Shornecliffe Camp, near Folkestone, on Sunday.  Trooper G. McGilvay, 28, of The Royal Dragoons, who was in the room with another trooper, was seen to have a rifle in his hand.  A report was heard and McGilvay was found lying dead on the floor with a wound in his body.  McGilvay was a native of Glasgow.

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2017, 20:21:01 »
I have returned after being told there was a bullet hole in the building thought to be the old tank workshop.  This section is run by the local council and the guy in there said his dad used to store a 25 pounder in there.

There is damage to the metal frame, which I guess could have been made by a bullet, but from the angle the shooter would have had to be in the building!!!

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2017, 21:58:12 »
1940s

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2017, 21:57:15 »
There are a few other buildings remaining in this area.

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2017, 21:54:59 »
I had another visit down to the camp this week and was able to actually visit one of the old buildings.  This is now in use by Veolia and has very few remaining features left.  The building used to be the old tank workshop, and the only real surviving bit of history on the inside is a couple of the old shutters.  These apparently have been very difficult to cut through when the need arose.

Apparently around the back of this building are some bullet marks in the wall but unfortunately this is on the Council run side and they were not open when I visited.


Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2016, 16:12:37 »
Not enough for my liking!  Thank you for finding them Nemo.  I had hoped the earlier gym building would be on the list and some of the accommodation huts and administration buildings.

There was a report for support to preserve the stables - these are still currently standing but I don't know if there was enough support to save them or if they just haven't been knocked down yet?

Offline Nemo

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 13:47:03 »
Not an area I know at all well.  The listed ‘buildings’ I can see are:

Racquet Court, Burgoyne Barracks
Concrete barrack block 1, Burgoyne Barracks
St Marks garrison church
Sir John Moore Memorial Hall and Library, Somerset Barracks
Statue of Sir John Moore, south of the army library
Roman Catholic chapel of The Most Holy Name, Sir John Moore barracks.

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 13:28:14 »
I think the air raid shelters are standard forms, many barracks, including Medway, had these designs as did schools and probably other sites.  Maybe a government standard?

St. Marks` Church is now a theatre and it looks like the tin chapel is now derelict.  I am hoping that when this site is redeveloped they will keep some of the buildings.

Offline CAT

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 07:28:30 »
They are indeed air-raid shelters conan as some thirty five years ago my little sister was at the primary school next to the church and the barracks were more open (less fencing and razor wire around its perimeter) and my friends and I would go and explore. The separate entrances lead to three separate shelters marked by the long mounds and not being conjoined. I've seen numerous ones like this in school grounds across Kent, though I'm sure they`re not specific to schools?

Offline conan

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 01:09:31 »
An early plan of the camp from Wikki



In your post Kyn,in the photo above the church,would the 3 concrete entrances be leading to an air raid shelter?
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2016, 23:29:11 »
Shorncliff (Shorncliffe) Camp was erected on land bought by the British Army in 1794, it was later extended in 1796 and 1806.  In 1801 the camp was on a 55 acre plot of land, with the redoubt being on a 35 ½ acre plot and artillery stables taking up another 11 acres.  Also adjoining this land was a military hospital and a gun battery; both now demolished and housing constructed on the plots.

In 1803 Sir John Moore trained the Light Division which went on to fight the Duke of Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, a section of the camp was named after him; Moore Barracks.  By 1858 the site consisted of 120 acres of land 220 feet above sea level.  At this time there were 192 soldiers huts with 25 men in each – the total men being 4800.

The site was huge, as more permanent billets were constructed on site to house the troops the land was sectioned off and different areas became known as different names.  By 1915 there was five unit lines called Ross Barracks, Somerset Barracks, Napier Barracks, Moore Barracks and Risborough Barracks.  It was during this period that the camp was used as a staging post for troops heading for the Western Front. During WWI there were three German raids which involved the deaths of soldiers at the camp.

The Canadian Training Division was form in April 1915 and the Canadian Army Medical Corps had a hospital based here from September 1917 until December 1918.

During the Second World War the camp was again used as a staging post.  Queen Mary visited the camp in 1939.

Original gym with later extension



Newer gym












































Church













Offline JohnG

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 21:59:51 »
1867 plan of Shorncliff Camp.

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 19:36:15 »
There are ten ablution rooms, two for each range of huts.  Each room has twenty-two water taps, and is well supplied with basins.  There are no gratings for the men to stand on.  The benches are of wood, and the method of draining the water from the surface of the bench is not very good.
Gratings should be supplied for the men to stand on, and if the camp is to be used for any length of time, it might be advisable to substitute slate benches for wooden ones, or at all events to improve the method of draining off the water when the basins are emptied, by providing a gutter for the purpose.
There are no baths in the camp; the chief difficulty in the way of introducing them is the deficiency of water for such purposes.  But this might be raised on purpose from the existing camp wells.  About one bath for every 100 men would be required.
There are five wash-houses, one to each range, with six coppers, and water laid on in each; but there are no drying stoves.  The Barrack master considers that great advantage and economy might be realized from providing a large establishment in which soldiers’ wives could wash the barrack and hospital bedding.  But at all events drying stoves and means of ironing linen should be provided for the existing wash-houses.
The means of lighting are at present described as very imperfect.  It would be a great improvement to introduce gas, provided the camp is to be permanently occupied.
There is no proper library and reading room.  The present library consists of a single soldier’s hut, which has been temporarily set apart for the purpose.  It would be a great advantage to provide more suitable and more extensive reading accommodation for so large a number of men as are congregated in this camp.  There is a very good site where a library and reading room might be erected.
There are no workshops, sheds for drill, cleaning rooms, or day rooms.
The ventilation of the prison cells is not sufficient, and the prison latrine requires to be deodorized and emptied at shorter intervals.
The coal sheds are open above, and it is alleged that the coal deteriorates from exposure to the weather.
We have stated the chief defects which have been brought under our notice with regard to Shorncliffe Camp.  Most of them refer to matters affecting the comfort and well-being of the soldier, rather than his health.  They are all worthy of consideration with the view to being carried out if the camp is to be continued.
The immediate recommendations we desire to make are few in number, and are as follows:-

1.   Introduction of means for baking or roasting meat into all the kitchens.
2.   Introducing wooden gratings in all the lavatories, and pegs for hanging coats on where required.  Also improving the means of removing the water from the surface of the tables.
3.   Introduction of baths in the proportion of one bath to 100 men, and increasing the water supply for the purpose.
4.   Removal of urinals from within the latrines to the open air.
5.   It would be a great advantage to provide suitable day rooms and drill sheds, and a larger library and reading room.
6.   The married quarters should be extended to make the accommodation commensurate with the regulation number of married people, and huts set apart for married people ought to have suitable divisions between the parts allotted to different families.
7.   Every wash-house to be provided with a drying stove and means of ironing linen.
8.   Better ventilation of prison cells and better arrangements for deodorizing the prison latrines.
9.   Regulation number sin the Infantry huts to be reduced to twenty-two men per hut at the least.

Offline kyn

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 20:20:13 »
Report of 1858
Shorncliffe Camp.

The camp at Shorncliffe occupies a plateau about 220 feet above the level of the sea, and overlooking it at 1000 yards distant.
It covers an area of about 120 acres.  The soil consists of sandy loam.  It has every natural facility for drainage, and is completely isolated from civil population.  The site is exposed freely to the sea breeze and is a very healthy one.
The huts are arranged in double lines enclosing an extensive parade ground in the centre.  They are separated a sufficient distance from each other to allow a free circulation of air and the general arrangement of the camp is very good, so far as it is calculated to secure the health of the troops.
The surface drainage of the ground about the huts is effected by main drains carried along between the lines of huts, with trapped gullies at intervals, and all the drainage is finally conducted to the sea, without passing under any of buildings of huts in camp.
Water used formally to be obtained from superficial wells, but the whole of the camp is now supplied from the main of the Folkestone Water Works, as, however, the level is not sufficiently high, the water from the main is thrown up by an 8-horse power steam engine to a further height of 150 feet into a tank capable of holding 45,000 gallons, from whence the water is distributed by pipes to the camp and Hospital.  The arrangements for water supply appear to be good, but the quantity available is states to be no more than sufficient for present purposes, sot hat there would be little or none to spare for water latrines or for flushing sewers.
There are 192 soldiers’ huts with regulation accommodation for twenty-five men in each, or for 4,800 men in all.  At the time of out inquiry, the average number of men in the Infantry huts was twenty-two, and in those of the Royal Artillery twenty.
Each hut is 38 feet 10 inches long, 20 feet broad, and 11 feet high to the ridge.  The cubic contents of each hit are 8,360 feet, giving 334 cubic feet for each of the twenty-five inmates, and 380 cubic feet for the present number, which is twenty-two.
Each hut has ten windows, two fanlights, and two doors.  There is a louvred ventilator at each end, and three ventilators in the ridge of each hut.
Those provisions for light and ventilation, along with the pervious nature of the wooden walls of the huts, ought in out opinion, to be sufficient to keep the air in the huts in a comparatively pure condition, even at night, if the regulation number of inmates be somewhat reduced, and if the ventilators are properly made use of and not interfered with by the men.
We are further of opinion that for the same reasons, and also on account of the excellent principle exemplified in hut barracks, of dividing the men into a number of detached buildings, with a small number of men in each, it is not necessary, so far as health is concerned, to set apart 600 cubic feet per man as must be done in permanent barracks.
The principle of subdividing the force among no fewer than 192 separate barracks, so to speak, with air freely playing round them, and ample means of ventilation, makes 400 cubic feet per man of as great value in preserving health as 600 cubic feet has in a large permanent barrack.
Twenty-five men per hut are, however, too many.  The present number, twenty-two men per hut, is better, but we would prefer that the cubic space at present allotted to the Royal artillery, who have twenty men per hut, should be adopted as the limit of accommodation for all the huts in camp.
There are five Serjeant-Majors’ quarters, consisting each of room, closet, and kitchen; five Quartermaster-Sergeants. Quarters with two rooms to each, and twenty Staff-Sergeant's’ quarters, two of which are in a room.
The Staff-Sergeants’ quarters are not sufficient considering the position of these officers.
There are eighty married quarters, but the proportion is below the number allowed for such a force.  It would be advisable to increase this accommodation if practicable.  At present, no fewer than six separate families are lodged together in a single hut, an arrangement at variance both with health and decency.
The soldiers’ huts are warmed by stoves, which are stated to be dangerous, and to require constant repairs.  For permanent use, fireplaces would be more economical and healthy as well as safer.
The latrines and urinals are both in the same building.  The former consist of iron tanks in which the soil is deodorized, and removed nightly by the “Cyanic Manure Company.”  There was some smell in the building when we inspected it, but it was partly owing to the position of the urinals.
In our opinion it would be advantageous to remove these urinals outside the latrines, and to give them the advantage of free circulation of air, which would greatly lessen the effluvia from them.
It would be a better arrangement altogether to substitute water latrines, with flushing arrangements; but it is doubtful whether there would be a sufficient supply of water for the purpose, while, if due care be used in deodorizing and removing the soil regularly, we do not think that in so open and airy location a locality any injury to health is likely to arise from the present arrangements.
The nuisance, such as it is, may be materially diminished by removing the urinals as already recommended.
There are twenty cook-houses, four in each range.
The kitchen arrangements are undergoing improvements.  Two new forms of cooking range, those of Captain Lempriere and Captain Grant, have been introduced, and are on trial.  Both ranges contain baking ovens, in addition to the customary boilers.  We shall delay expressing any opinion on these cooking ranges, until sufficient time has elapsed to admit of their being fully tried.

To be continued...

Offline unfairytale

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Re: Shorncliffe Camp
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 18:13:10 »

Lieut. Watkins, on his Howard Wright biplane, flying over the troops at Shorncliffe during his trips preparatory to trying for the Baron de Forest £4,000 Cross-Channel Prize.

Photo and words from 'Flight' magazine.

The Baron de Forest prize was for the first Englishman to cross the Channel in an English-built plane. It was eventually won by Thomas Sopwith in December 1910.
When you've got your back to wall, there's only one thing to do and that's to turn around and fight. (John Major)
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