Author Topic: Larkhill Military Light Railway  (Read 3963 times)

Offline wendyg

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Larkhill Military Light Railway
« on: September 19, 2013, 07:33:15 PM »
Living and working near Larkhill camp for 30 years, I regularly walk  my dog on the track bed of the Larkhill Military Light Railway.  It is known locally as the 'Apple Track' as the story goes that the soldiers threw their apple cores out as the train went along.  Apple trees are vey evident still.

Since starting my research on the Manchester Pals I have become  very interested in Larkhill ( my great uncle in the 17th and 2nd cousin in the 18th spent 2 months here) The accounts that I have read record the weather as cold, wet and windy and the service records record soldiers being out of camp overnight ( were they at 'The Bell' , ' The George', 'Antrobus' or 'New  Inn?)

Having visited the Somme many times, and introduced it to students it so reminds me of Salisbury Plain, so I think it was an appropriate training experience.  My grandfather was at Codford with the Lancashire Fusiliers and another 2nd cousin who was with the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Public Schools Battalion) was at Tidworth and died of wounds on the Somme so I am constantly reminded of their presence.

Does anyone know if any photographs of the Manchesters at Larkhill exist or if there are any accounts of their time there I would love to know more.

Wendyg








 

Offline cathyaus

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Re: Larkhill Military Light Railway
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 11:11:24 PM »
Hi Wendyg
I am a volunteer on the Wiltshire family history website - Wiltshire OPC & I look after the Durrington page of which Larkhill comes under. Here is a link to my page: 

http://www.wiltshire-opc.org.uk/genealogy/index.php/parish-directory/item/263-durrington


I have a good collection of photos on the Durrington page of Larkhill Camp in general - though none are specific to the Manchesters:

https://picasaweb.google.com/101345661794517075914/DurringtonDurringtonLarkhillCamps?noredirect=1#

I am also interested in any information about Larkhill Camp (I also look after the page on Codford as well).

Cathy

Offline wendyg

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Re: Larkhill Military Light Railway
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 10:43:59 AM »
Thanks Cathy. 

These photos are really interesting  and it is difficult now to imagine Larkhill in the early days.  It must have been pretty windy and uncomfortable in those tents.  I have seen the hangars, aren't they listed buildings?

Wendyg

Offline Tim Bell

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Re: Larkhill Military Light Railway
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 02:00:58 PM »
On the subject of the railway, the timetable was limited as confirmed by my grandad's journal entry about returning from what I suspect was his final leave before embarking to France with the 17th Btt.
“On returning to Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain, I got the very last train from Waterloo, but it dumped me at Bulford, leaving me a mile or two across to my own Camp.  I soon covered the distance, arriving perhaps at 2 or 3 a.m.  It was up in the morning early, the rations for the Divisional march and the mangel wurzels I made out with were not really tasty.  However, there were field kitchens with us, and the soup was first class!” Pt A A Bell 8055

Great photos from Cathy.  I love the king's train photo.

Tim
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
http://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/about/

Offline wendyg

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Re: Larkhill Military Light Railway
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2013, 06:33:48 PM »
Thanks Tim
That's great!  I know vaguely where the station at Amesbury was  and where the line to Bilford went.  There isn't anything to really see except  a railway signal.  The walk from Bulford to Larkhill is mostly uphill and probably 2 miles.  I didn't know that mangelwurzels were a Wiltshire speciality and probably not  in the diet in Manchester!
Wendyg