Morn Hill Camp during WW1

Jackie Porter, the Hampshire County Councillor, wrote about an interesting local project in the Alresford Forum this March. It concerns the Morn Hill Camp, which was set up in 1914 as an assembly camp for soldiers on their way to France to fight in World War I, and also for the return trip home.

Tony Dowland had contacted Jackie to see if it would be possible to create a memorial for these soldiers. The camp was a large one, for up to 50,000 soldiers. They arrived there in the process of transit to France, and came through again on their return trip home. Unfortunately too few did return from the front, and tragically, hundreds died of Spanish Flu before they could reach their families. In 1918, a railway was built to carry supplies up to the Avington copse area at the west of the site, but it was quickly dismantled after the war ended.

After some preparation, a number of interested parties held a Morn Hill Memorial launch event at the Holiday Inn, with the plan to work out how to achieve a memorial by 2014, the 100th anniversary of the setting up of the camp. Support was offered by Brigadier David Harrison, one of the Deputy Lieutenants of Hampshire, who has agreed to be Chairman of the group, the broadcaster Dan Snow, and our local MP, Steve Brine.

This is where people with Alresford memories come in! Do you or your family have any recollections of the camp? Do you have any knowledge, photographs etc of this part of the military history of the area? Perhaps your family history includes receiving the soldiers or seeing the railway? Please let Jackie know, on jackie.porter@hants.gov.uk!

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