Twezeldown Camp on the Hampshire, Surrey border was used for training RAMC personnel in World War One. This week’s postcard depicts the recreation hut for the men of this camp, a large and inviting building where they could spend their free time:
The porch at the end of this building proudly declares that it is a ‘Lord Roberts Camp Home’:
Lord Roberts was a famous Victorian general who had risen to fame in India and during the Boer War. He was hugely popular, being known as ‘Bobs’ to his men and the wider general public. He died in November 1914 but his name and legacy lived on with many soldiers’ welfare projects named in his memory. Next to the entrance to the hut is a black and white shield:
Even magnified it is hard to make out the words, but the first word is soldiers and the last two are ‘Recreation Room’ the words in between are indecipherable.
These huts were normally paid for with donations so they do not follow the standard designs of army huts, such as the two weather boarded buildings in the background:
Twezeldown Camp was typical of so many of these camps for training that were used during World War I, it did however inspire one soldier to poetry:
There is much to cause surprise, at Twezeldown,
To a stranger’s searching eyes, at Twezeldown;
For the soldiers gathered there,
Come from almost everywhere,
Every county has its share, at Twezeldown.
Oh, the accents that we hear, at Twezeldown,
One for each day of the year, at Twezeldown;
Some speak very fast and short,
Some take longer than they ought,
There are “twangs” of every sort, at Twezeldown.
And the manners that we get, at Twezeldown,
We’ve a special etiquette, at Twezeldown;
There are navvies, clerks, and tailors,
Solicitors, and sailors,
So their manners – well, words fail us, at Twezeldown.
When for drills the bugles go, at Twezeldown,
They are answered very slow, at Twezeldown;
But when bugles sound again
For the Cookhouse call – why then,
There are many active men, at Twezeldown.
Yet for smartness on parade, at Twezeldown,
A record we have made, at Twezeldown;
There are units twice as strong
As our gallant “91,”
But we’ll make them stare ere long, at Twezeldown.
Composed by Pte. C. Cluderay, R.A.M.C.,
91st Field Ambulance, Twezeldown Camp,